Repression against Basque Movimiento Pro Amnistia

April 4th, 2008

We received following information by the Basque human rights lawyer Julen Arzuaga, who gives a report on the latest repression against the solidarity movement for prisoners ‘Movimiento Pro Amnistia’…

The repression against the Basque people conducted by the Spanish State and in less degree by the French has been constant in recent years. It is easy to trace a continuous line in the preceding decades that can show us the persistence of torture, massive and arbitrary detentions, penitentiary policy of brutal consequences, halted associations and organizations, closing of news media, illegalisation of political parties and total discrimination of a sector of the population from the participation in public life. To sum up, a situation of exception that has generated a dangerous scenario of suppression of the most basic political and civil rights, a scenario that nowadays it is shown with total harshness.

These circumstances have forced hundreds of Basque citizens to create a retaining wall, to confront repression and participate in different civic organisations, human rights organisations, and activist organisations in what has been called Movimiento Pro Amnistia.
Otherwise, the lack of activation of this sector and consequently social contestation would have resulted in a total acceptance of the impunity of the structures of the Spanish State. That is why through this organisation lots of activities have been structured-conferences,
demonstrations, public appeals, contacts with all kinds of political and social agents…- in order to claim a scenario of respect with basic democratic conditions, of enjoyment of basic civil and political rights. In lots of these activities we have had the chance to get to know each other, share and discuss issues.

Nevertheless, Spain and France, mentally blinded in maintaining a strategy of repression against wider sectors of the Basque population, require each time higher levels of impunity. This is why this wide movement results inconvenient and unbearable. That is why 11 of its members –spokespersons, provincial people in charge…- were during 4 years in preventive prison without having been taken to court, maximum limit by the Spanish legislature. That is why their mobilisations and demonstrations have been forbidden by court, halted administratively, and violently attacked by the Security Forces of the State. That is why time after time people who consistently point to the responsibility of the state in the repression and violation of human rights and the most fundamental freedoms, are being summoned.

That is why, to sum it up, from April 21^st , 27 members of this organisation have to face a trial in the exceptional antiterrorist trial Audiencia Nacional, under the accusation of belonging to an armed organisation, for our mere activity of solidarity with political prisoners, our mere militancy in Amnistia, our opposition against the repression and for defending human rights.
We don’t expect fairness from this tribunal. Nevertheless we expect an opportunity to explain to the Basque and to the international society who we are and what we are doing and why. I want to send this SOS of alarm and concern, but above all of solidarity: A call to double our effort, each one from our own field and framework, so that the impunity won’t break that retaining wall against repression.

Ez adiorik,

Julen Arzuaga