A 17-year-old from Heraklion, who for about six months remained incarcerated in a youth detention center, complains of “midnight express” with savage beatings and gang rapes. He describes that in there he lived the worst moments of his life, with fear nestling in his soul. He fell asleep and didn’t know if he would wake upfeatures support.

“I was raped by five people almost every night for about 15 days until I was released. One was ending, the other was beginning” the boy reveals to the camera, having his parents by his side. He still complains that the group of “5”whom he names one by one, had sexually abused another child in the bathroom.

On March 20, three days after he was released from the special detention center, the mother went to the Heraklion Police Station to report what her son had confided in her in the car, shortly after his release from prison. The boy was called to give a statement in the presence of a psychologist, while he was examined by a medical examiner, as required by the procedure. Now the investigation of the most serious complaints is ongoing.

His incarceration in a youth center had been deemed necessary more for reasons of punishment and reformation after a serious domestic incident with his older sister. For the mother it was a torturous decision to which she consented with a heavy heart. But he was convinced at the given time that this would only be done for good. After all, they would have daily contact with her son.

He, 16.5 years old at the time, believed that he would leave the courts of Heraklion together with his mother. One more bad moment was about to be overcome. It was denied. For the first time he was so afraid. Outside he was a lively and reactive child. A “savage”. In there, however, he had to face …beasts. And it was fear that finally “sealed” his mouth until he was released and felt safe. Almost two months later, the 17-year-old has not “moved” from his home. He is always with his people. The wound is still open.

The reception cap

On his first day inside, his clothes were stolen and he was forced to play wood with a fellow inmate. It was the necessary welcoming ritual. The inevitable newcomer’s cap. “If I didn’t, I’d have 20 people punching and kicking me” supports.

Frustrated and frightened, he contacted a relative by phone, but the content of the conversation was picked up by other children, so he was beaten again for … compliance.

He asked, as he says, from the second day to be transferred to a protection ward. He leaked to the prison and received another beating, as he complains. “Four people threw me on the floor and started kicking and punching me. They were stepping on me.”

There was an episode against him so serious that he had to be taken to the hospital. His parents were informed of his brutal beating at their own insistence as the child had three days to contact them and they were beginning to worry.

The highlight was the revelations about the constant rapes, which, as he complains, he endured in his cell by the “gang” of five. Alone and helpless.

The mother of the 17-year-old calls for the exemplary punishment of the people who abused her son, while unleashing “fire” on those who did not protect him as they should have, morally and institutionally. And the minor is asking to be punished for what they did to him and to other children.

“The guilty perpetrators will be held accountable in justice”

The family lawyer, George Kokosalis, is closely monitoring the course of the preliminary investigation, expressing his certainty that the culprits will be held accountable in justice. “We received another case of child abuse in the sense of sexual violence that was perpetrated on this child within a controlled institution, such as the special detention center for the specific youth where the minor was accommodated for a certain period of time.

Unfortunately, although many steps have been taken in the direction of alternative treatment of young offenders, the situation remains difficult and even tragic.

As soon as the child was released from prison, he found the courage and confided in his mother what he was experiencing. They addressed the Heraklion Police, who are conducting a preliminary investigation, and we are sure that the perpetrators will be found and held accountable in criminal justice.”