4 January 2007

SOLIDARITY PROTESTS IN IRELAND WITH HUNGER STRIKER INAKI



Last Saturday 23rd two protests took place in Ireland to highlight the Basque political prisoner Inaki De Juana's situation on his 47th day on hunger strike. The protests were organised by the Irish Basque Committees branches in Cork and Belfast (see picture). You can read here the text of one of the couple of thousands of leaflets dropped at the protests:

On August 7, Basque Political Prisoner Iñaki de Juana began a hunger
strike to demand his right to be released. Iñaki de Juana should have been released on October 25, 2004, after serving his sentence in full and having spent 18 years in jail. However, the Spanish Special Court issued a decision dated October 22, attempting to contest the remission Iñaki was entitled to and to prevent his release .

In view of the impossibility to maintain this line of argument, the Court decreed his remand in custody for an alleged crime of membership of an armed group and terrorist threats.

The basis for the accusations were two opinion articles the prisoners sent to the daily Gara . It is impossible to find any rational basis in the articles to sustain such charges. Precisely, on June 14, 2006 the charges were dropped.

At that point a media campaign was unleashed against that decision.
The Minister for Justice stated “we shall build new charges so that they (Basque Political Prisoners) are not released!” The State General Prosecutor said "we shall continue to oppose his release insofar as it is legally possible" and appealed the decision.

Therefore there was a new request for a 96 year prison sentence.

His situation led him to go on a hunger strike for 63 days. He just went off when was told that he’d requested for 2 years. On October 26, the trial against him took place in the Spanish Special Court in Madrid.

Days later, the court decision was published; it sentenced Iñaki de Juana to 12 years and 7 months in prison. Therefore, it can be seen how in Spain, as in Guantanamo, there are situations which take us back to the time of the inquisition and which show what the criminal law for the enemy is, tailor-made, and based on hatred and revenge.

In this situation of absolute injustice, on November 7 Iñaki de Juana
began another hunger strike, which is adding to the 63 day strike he had ended only a few weeks earlier, after having lost 24 kilos (3st, 5lb).


This is a call to all groups and people in solidarity, to express their protest to Spanish consulates and embassies and to send their messages to the addresses of the following people, directly responsible for Iñaki de Juana's and the rest of 700 Basque Political Prisoners’ situation.

Help save Iñaki's life!

(Spanish Embassador in Ireland)
D. José de Carvajal Salido
Spanish Embassy in Ireland
17A, Merlyn Park, Ballsbridge Dublin
Tel: 269 16 40
Fax: 269 18 54
Email: embespie@mail.mae.es.

(Spanish Prime Minister)
José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero
Presidente del Gobierno Español
Palacio de la Moncloa,
Avda. Puerta de Hierro, s/n.
28071 Madrid
España
jlrzapatero@presidencia.gob.es
Fax: 0034 913900217

(Spanish Special Court's President)
Carlos Divar Blanco
Presidente Audiencia Nacional
C/ García Gutiérrez, 1
28004 Madrid
España
Fax: 0034 913973381

(Spanish Prisons' Director)
Mercedes Gallizo Llamas
Directora General de Instituciones Penitenciarias
C/ Alcalá, 38-40
28014. Madrid
España
Fax: 91 335 40 52

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