Thousands of Greek Junta Supporters Attend Memorial Service
ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ More than 4,000 backers of Greece’s 1967-74 military dictatorship marched through Athens today demanding the immediate release of 17 ex-officers serving long prison terms.
The protest march to Parliament followed an hour-long memorial service at Athens Cathedral for Gen. Odysseas Angelis, 75, who committed suicide by hanging himself in his jail cell last week.
Angelis was armed forces chief and vice president of a republic proclaimed by the military regime led by Col. George Papadopoulos. He was serving a 20- year prison term for overthrowing democracy in a bloodless coup on April 21, 1967.
″The Greek state has an obligation to history to end the drama of the jailed military leaders,″ Chrisanthos Dimitriades, a member of the right-wing National Political Union party and deputy in the European Parliament said in a eulogy.
Led by relatives of the jailed rulers and former civilian members of the junta government, demonstrators shouted ″open the cells now″ as they marched through central Athens.
Dimitriades and relatives of the cashiered officers delivered a petition to Parliament demanding their immediate release from Korydallos Prison outside Athens.
The men claim they are political prisoners and are jailed illegally. Greek courts have rejected appeals by several junta leaders for release.