28 February 2007
22 YOUNG ACTIVISTS IMPRISONED
On the 19th of January the Spanish Supreme Court sentenced 22 members of the Basque pro-independence youth movement to 6 years in prison for their political activities. this decision was widely criticized by Basque political parties, trade unions and social movements. Yet another example of the "Spanish democracy". Most of them went on the run that very day (4 were arrested immediately) and turned up on the 4th of February at a political rally in "La Esperanza (The Hope)" Basque ball court in Bilbao.
There they were supported by hundreds of people, among them the outlawed party Batasuna's leadership and dozens of journalists. A deep emotion filled the Basque ball courted. They waited for the autonomous police to be arrested while they held a banner where could be read: "Give way to independence. Basque youth onwards!"
Then dozens of heavily armed policemen showed up and one by one and among the cheers and tears of relatives, friends and pro-independence supporters.
It was a brave and audacious action which coped the newspapers frontlines and TV news next day even in both the Basque Country and Spain. Another terrible picture of the historical conflict between the Basque Country and the Spanish and French states.
After being arrested they were disappeared for more than a week as nobody had information of where they had been taken to. When the first news broke out the worst fears were confirmed as they suffer beatens at the Spanish police hands and were imprisoned in 20 different jails all around Spain at hundreds of miles from their country.
For more pictures and video: http://www.gaztesarea.net/info/berria.php?id=7380