5 November 2008



-Main news of the week: Increase of repression shows it’s time for change.

The left pro-independence movement denounced last week in a mass press conference the repressive situation in the Basque province of Navarre for the last few weeks. 21 people have been arrested, 14 have claimed they were tortured, 3 political organizations have been banned, 20 demonstrations have been prohibited and attacked, 7 people have been hospitalised and the number of political prisoners has reached an all time high (103 out of a total of 756 Basque political prisoners). This situation reflects the deteriorating situation in the Basque Country and the ongoing political conflict.

According to the left pro-independence movement these are times for change. The Spanish state is trying to stop change by using all their repressive tools. The coming months will define the next years situation. The nationalist left believes a democratic situation has to be reached where all political objectives will be able to be defended in the same conditions and in absence of violence.

The Spanish government knows that the left pro-independence movement is the engine for change. This is why they are using bannings, detentions, tortures, and other repressive methods against political pro-independence activists and organizations.
The Basque pro-independence movement wants to reaffirm its commitment to continue the struggle in all areas to improve the political and living conditions of Basque citizens; and in favour of independence and socialism and calls upon all other sectors who believe in the need of a democratic framework to come together.

Other news in brief:

-The Basque political prisoners support group Askatasuna made public last week that Basque prisoner Mikel Gil tried to commit suicide recently. Mikel suffers from a serious head illness and should have already been released under Spanish laws. Askatasuna denounced the terrible conditions that led Mikel Gil to try to taek his own life. Mikel has been in a Spanish jail’s hospital wing for the last nine months and has been denied his right to be seen by a doctor of his choice as well as to be transferred to a prison in his home town.

-1100 people attended vigils in eight different hospitals in the Basque Country last Friday to denounce the terrible situation of ill Basque political prisoners in French and Spanish jails.

-Four people were arrested by Spanish police in the Basque capital, Irunea/Pamplona last week. Several houses were searched and guns and explosives were allegedly found. After five days incommunicado three of them claimed they were tortured and were sent to prison accused of being members of ETA.

-Last Thursday a powerful car bomb exploded in the right wing pro-Spanish and Opus Dei owned University of Navarre in the Basque capital of Irunea/Pamplona. One hour earlier a man, claiming to represent ETA, had made a telephone bomb warning. 20 people were slightly injured by the explosion. This is the 6th time ETA has attacked this university.

- Following its consideration of the fifth periodic report of Spain, the Human Rights Committee of United Nations showed his concerned about the large scope of the definition of terrorism in the Spanish Penal Code which could lead to various violations of the rights stipulated in the Covenant. This definition has been used to ban Basque political organizations and imprison many of their members. The Committee noted with concern that cases of torture continued to be reported and recommended that Spain accelerate the adoption process of a mechanism for the prevention of torture.

-Culture news:

Internationally acclaimed Basque musician Fermin Muguruza released “Asthmatic Lion Sound Systema”, an awaited new album last Friday. The album is a unique mixed of sounds and voices from across the world.

The heterogeneous musician recorded bits and pieces while on tour on 2006. He has been supported by well known musicians such as Dave Hillyard, Stepahnie Wallace, Franklin Bubbler Waul, Ophelia, Dana Leong, Kaori, Rub-a-DUB Market, Bajka, Al Rumjen, Manu Chao, Maria de Medeiros…

Here it's the first single's video:

The album can be listened at:

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