The Basque political prisoner Iñaki de Juana Chaos, who was to be released
on the 9th of February because he finished his 18-year sentence, heard on the 10th of January that he would not be released.
De Juana wrote 2 opinion articles in the leftwing Basque newspaper GARA, for which he now is accused of being 'ETA-member' and 'making terrorist threats' being in jail for what he could get another sentence of 96 years.
De Juana was convicted for 'helping' in an attack in 1986 in Madrid were 12 members of the Guardia Civil were killed and because being member of the Madrid Comando
Now when he had to be released after finishing his sentence, Spanish government tries to avoid his release acussing him of being ETA menber and making threats from because he denounces his situation publicly.
In this situation DE JUANA CHAOS decided to start a HUNGER STRIKE 11 days
ago. A hunger strike he sais will be till the end.
He has already lost 10 kilos as his relatives saw in their last weekend visit. They have to travel every weekend for more than 2,500 kilometres to get a 40 minutes visit. Thousands of Basque Political Prisoners' relatives have to do long distances aswell every weekend. This dispersal policy designed by the PSOE Spanish government at the end of the 80's has killed already 16 relatives in the roads. 22 political prisoners have died in prison because of this criminal jail policy.
A similar case is that of the Basque political prisoner Edorta Sainz-
Lobato, who should have been released on 13 January after 17 years, but on
orders of judge Javier Gomez-Bermudez had to stay behind bars until the
'measures of shortening the sentence' are fully investigated.
It is no coincidence; the Spanish juridical system and the Spanish Minister
of Internal Affairs Jose Antonio Alonso look for measures to prevent Basque
political prisoners to be released after serving their sentence. The Spanish
Minister of Justice Juan Fernando Lopez-Aguilar said 'they are not to be
released before they shown remorse'. At this moment there are 100 Basque
political prisoners who can be released according to the Spanish law, after
serving ¾ of their sentence. Also the shortening measures won by working in
the prison or good behaviour work not for them. Another example is Filipe
Bidart, who was due for release in February 2003. At this moment there is a
campaign for his release, among other through the Basque website
As Etxerat, the Basque political prisoners' relatives organization, pointed yesterday the prisoners are political hostages in the hands of the Spanish and French states. Indeed, due to some legal reforms introduced six months ago prisoners who already did their time (18, 19 or even 20 years) have been kept in jail and got new dates of release wich go to 2017 or 2018.