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BASQUE INFO 28/07/09
• Former Basque prisoner kidnapped and tortured.
• ETA destroys police barracks.
• Repression news.
-Former Basque prisoner kidnapped and tortured.
Former Basque prisoner and pro-independence activist Alain Berastegi denounced last week that he was kidnapped and tortured in a forest by ten masked men on the 17th of July.
Everything started when he was call to do a building job in Irunberri, near Irunea/Pamplona. Two men asked him to follow them to a forest where they said they had an old farm they wanted to refurbish. It was there where another ten men wearing masks and guns were waiting for him. They questioned and tortured him for 7 hours.
They beat him and asphyxiated him with a plastic bag.
The masked men, most probably Spanish policemen, asked him to collaborate with them. They offered him money and threatened him with arrest if he didn’t help him or if he denounced what happened.
Alain was released after being told to meet them again in another day in the following days. Instead the former Basque prisoner denounced what happened to him in court and in a press conference.
The organisation against repression Askatasuna said that this is the new 21st century dirty war but reminded people that it was the Spanish Labour government which set up the GAL death squads in the 80’s. The Spanish Labour Party is again in power in Spain.
In the last 6 months 4 former political prisoners and pro-independence activists have been kidnapped and one of them is still missing.
Askatasuna denounced the main political parties and mass media silence around these kidnappings.
-ETA destroys police barracks.
A strong van bomb destroyed the Spanish Guardia Civil police barracks in Burgos near the Basque Country at 4am today. 47 people were injured.
Spanish authorities fear ETA will launch more strong attacks in coming days.
Some analysts set the 31st of July 1959 as the ETA’s creation day.
The pro-independence movement said on a statement that it’s impossible to defeat ETA through police means and that the only way to resolve the political conflict it’s through inclusice dialogue, negotiation and respect the Basque people’s rights.
Two pro-independence youths have been arrested in the early hours of today by the Spanish Guardia Civil police. One of them is surfer champion Iker Acero. The arrested pair have been taken to the Basque youth website Gaztesarea offices in what seems to be an operation against this popular communication project.
Last week 38-year-old Basque political refugee Ekai Alkorta was arrested in the north of the Basque Country under French administration and sent to prison following an arrest warrant issued by the Spanish Special Court.
Young pro-independence activist Xan Beyrie was also imprisoned after his solicitor's appeal was refused by the French judges. He was previously arrested along with 12 pro-independence youths in the north of the Basque Country at the end of June and was released on bail.
The Basque-Spanish police continues with its campaign to make all expressions of solidarity with Basque political prisoners disappear. Prisoners' pictures and solidarity banners are being taken off walls, festivals, balconies, bars...The largest Basque trade union ELA denounced this practice and reminded people that Basque political prisoners are scattered in jails around France and Spain while many of them should be released under Spanish law after finishing their sentences or due to serious illnesses.
Basque political prisoners’ relatives association Etxerat called for the resignation of the Basque Interior Minister after he said he was disgusted by the prisonsers' pictures and solidarity events. The relatives said he knows he has lost the battle to make the Basque prisoners solidarity events disppear.
Last week the Spanish Supreme Court ordered the disbanding of all local pro-independence ANV/Basque Nationalist Action councillors groups. Elorrio town’s pro-independence mayor said they’ve been denied public funds and that this is yet another step in the process of banning the ANV party.
A Basque volunteers’ garden of remembrance was riddled with bullets two weeks ago and was defaced with pro-Spanish graffiti over the last weekend in Oiartzun, near Donostia/San Sebastian.
The Spanish Coordination to Prevent Torture group said last week the Spanish authorities promote torture and impunity after the Spanish government failed to comply with the implementation of the Nacional Mechanism to Prevent Torture.
150 Basque, European and American lawyers signed a petition to ask for the immediate release of Basque political prisoners' solicitor Inaki Goioaga. Inaki was arrested one month ago and accused of helping in an attempt prison escape in 2007. The arrest has been seen as an effort to threaten the Basque political prisoners’ solicitors work.