2 July 2009


Basque Info 24th-30th June

-Repression increases.

12 people were arrested by the French police in the north of the Basque Country over the past few days. Despite not having official charges yet some media reported the arrests were part of an investigation into several 2007 attacks against estate agencies and tourism related businesses. Those attacks were claimed by the underground pro-independence group Irrintzi.

The arrests were protested by the anti-repression association Askatasuna and the pro-independence youth organisation Segi. They said that the arrests are a witch hunt aimed at increasing social control against the pro-independence movement. One of those arrested is the Segi’s spokesperson in the north of the Basque Country.

Hundreds of people rallied against the arrests in different towns across the north.

Last week we informed listeners of some arrests near Donostia/San Sebastian. The three alleged ETA members were finally imprisoned after five days incommunicado. Once in jail they told their solicitors they had been tortured.

Two suspected ETA members were arrested in Paris last Thursday and another two on Tuesday after suffering a road accident in the south of France. One of them had to be taken to hospital where his injuries are being treated as very serious. He’s unconscious.

During last week many pro-Spanish politicians publicly promoted police measures as the only way to solve the conflict. At the same time the Basque-Spanish police increased their harassment against Basque political prisoners support. They pressed and threatened bars and clubs owners, individuals and town councils to take off Basque political prisoners pictures from their walls and balconies. The police even arrested a young man for wearing a prisoners’ support sticker and prevented two former prisoners welcoming dinner and attacked another one.

The Basque pro-independence left released a statement to ask for political responsibility to politicians and mass media and to point out the impossibility of a police victory over ETA. The pro-independence left added that the political conflict can’t be reduced to an “antiterrorist” problem but quite the opposite. The majority of the Basque people demand respect for their nationality and their will to decide about their future in a free and democratic way. The pro-independence left reaffirrms that they will honestly promote negotiation and dialogue as the only alternative to find ways to resolve political problems.

-European court supports bannings.

The European Court of Human Rights released yesterday three judgements to support the Spanish bannings of Basque pro-independence parties. Surprisingly a Human Rights tribunal used the so-called European list of terrorist organisations which is not a law as a valid argument to defend its position.

The judgements will encourage the Spanish securocrats and helps to keep political apartheid in the Basque Country.

-Basque political refugee dies in Mexico.

Basque political refugee Joxe Antonio Otxoantesana aka “Ondarru” died last week from a brain hemorrhage. Ondarru had been living in Mexico for 30 years after he had to escape Spanish political repression. Since then he became an endless source of help to all Basque political escapees who arrived to Mexico in the 80’s and 90’s. The news of his sudden death quickly arrived to his home village where 250 people gathered to pay him a first and improvised homage.

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