Last friday, Czesktatelevision aired an interview with the families of the detainees. A informational campaign has been launched to raise more awareness. For more information turn on the english subtitles in the video.
While we are a a good week in the new year, Ivan and Martin are still detained in Greece, awaiting the decision of the second appeal.
A decision (a rough estimation) on this appeal is expected in about 2 weeks. Today Ivan and Martin have been in jail in Greece for exact 1/3 of a year, without a proper trial.
With this in mind, we like to ask everybody to inform your local or national newspaper, and urge them to pay attention to this unjust case.
Our 2012 Christmas wish : Light a candle for Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar!
Lighting candles expresses more than words could ever say. Candles remind us of presence, assure us of warmth, promise us that someone cares and we care for each other. Light your candle, and send us a picture via @helpivanmartin on twitter.
On December 13, an article was published on kathimerini.gr - a highly respectable newspaper in greece.The article is particlarly interesting as it shows the involvement of the Greek secret service in the case. Here is the full translation.
*Espionage and a video game in military camps on Lemnos*
Every day there are new episodes of the thriller of two Czechs Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar who were charged with espionage on Lemnos. Both men aged 28 and 33 were arrested on 9 September by police officers from the Myrina police district and have been since detained in a jail on Chios. They have been charged with espionage because they were photographing military objects on the island [of Lemnos]. Both men oppose the charge and claim that they are employees of Bohemia Interactive, the makers of a computer game ARMA 3 that takes place on Lemnos and the island Agios Efstratios.
According to information Kathimerini the move to arrest the men has begun after 3rd headquarters of counterintelligence EYP (National Intelligence Service) sent a bulletin to the local authorities, also included in the court files, notifying them in detail about the arrival of the two Czechs, where they will be staying and when they plan to leave. It also alerted them to the fact that both foreign citizens intent to photograph military objects on the island. From the point of their arrival until their arrest 6 days later both Czechs were monitored by a team from EYP. In the end they were arrested by police officers from the Myrina district who also confiscated their cameras, one notebook, external hard drives and other electronic devices. Both men claimed they went to Lemnos on holiday after spending two years of intensive work on an Internet game - [military] simulator ARMA 3. The said game takes place on Lemnos and the island Agios Efstratios and depicts a conflict between the militaries of NATO and Iran.
The court file indicates there are 14 photographs incriminating the two Czechs. “It is 7 photographs and 7 frames from a video which show military objects on the island,” told [Kathimerini] the attorney of the two men Mr. Panagiotis Eleftheriou. Even though photography of military objects without permissions is a misdemeanor, the investigator and procurator begun prosecuting the arrested men for the crime of espionage.
According to our information several days after their arrest the headquarters of EYP sent Czech intelligence service a request for detailed information about the identity and employment positions of the two arrested. Instead of a reply, the chief of Czech intelligence service visited Greece to meet his Greek counterpart Theodoros Dravillas.
According to court files of the case the arrested had special electronic devices, a fact that (according to the procurator and investigator) refutes their claim that they were to Greece on holiday. Another aggravating circumstance is said to be the fact that the owner of Bohemia Interactive, a company where both men are employed, owns shares in another company that makes computer simulations for military training. The said entrepreneur was summoned by court and deposited a witness statement in the case. Also, it seems that a proof has surfaced that both Czechs sent photographs daily to an unknown person using their computer. This information is is refuted by their attorney.
The case of Ivan and Martin has caused a wave of reactions in the Czech Republic. On 27 October 150 people took part in a protest in front of the Greek embassy in Prague where they requested the release of the two men. Czech Euro MP Jan Březina and his Greek colleague Mrs. Niki Tzavela also took interest in the case.
Further, according to information published in Czech press the Prime Minister Petr Nečas spoke about the case with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras near the end of the summit that took place on 22 and 23 October in Brussel. Handwritten letter from both detained men was placed on the website wwww.helpivanmartin.org (with a single focus of getting the two men released).
Last Friday their attorney has handed the investigator on Lemnos a requested for their release.
Today, the mailman brought us another message from Greece. In this letter, Ivan send some personal messages to people who have send a Postcard via http://postcard.helpivanmartin.org and a generic message for the whole community.
So keep them Postcards coming, before you know it, you have a personal message from the detainees.