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Basque Info 22/07/09
• Three months without Jon.
• Attacks against Basque prisoners.
• Protest against Spanish forces parade.
• Homage to dead refugee.
-Three months without Jon.
Basque political prisoner Jon Anza was released after 20 years in jail and then moved to the north of the Basque Country to be free from Spanish police harassment. Three months ago he went missing. His family and the Basque pro-independence movement have said the Spanish secret services and the French government are responsible for his disappearance. ETA said in a statement that Jon was a member of the organization at the time he went missing.
Other Basque political refugees were kidnapped, tortured and killed by pro-Spanish death squads in collusion with Spanish and French police in the 80’s and some of them are still missing.
In an interview carried out by the newspaper Gara over the last weekend Jon Anza’s girlfriend speaks of the hard three months herself and Jon's other relatives and friends are having not knowing what happened to him. She denounces the political parties and mass media silence surrounding the case and expresses her sorrow. Jon Anza’s girlfriend goes on to say it’s been a political kidnapping. She thanks the people for their support and campaign across the Basque Country.
Posters with Jon Anza’s face asking where is he can be seen on walls and banners around the country and protests are constantly being held.
The Basque pro-independence movement accused the Spanish government of reactivating the dirty war and pointed at the French government as an accomplice in it. At a press conference last week pro-independence spokespersons reaffirmed their commitment to continue working to achieve an democratic scenario and warned that the dirty war won’t distract them from that work.
-Attacks against Basque prisoners.
Basque political prisoners in three different Spanish jails were attacked by guards and taken to solitary confinement. This situation happens often and sometimes prisoners have to go on hunger strike to denounce them and get their basic rights respected. This is the case of Sebas Lasa who entered his 9th day on hunger strike today. He’s already lost 6 kilos.
A former Basque prisoner saw his parents' house attacked last week just two days after being released. The Goikoetxea family’s house was painted with threats and the entrance was burnt in broad daylight. Another son is currently in jail.
-Protest against Spanish forces parade.
One hundred people gathered in Donostia/San Sebastian last Thursday to protest against the annual Spanish occupation forces parade. The short 50-metre parade was attended by top heads of the Spanish army and police forces along some with pro-Spanish local politicians. Dozens of Basque-Spanish policemen looked after them but couldn’t avoid the protesters’ slogans being heard. The main banner asked them where is the disappeared ETA activist Jon Anza.
-Homage to dead refugee.
Basque political refugee Joxe Antonio Otxanesana who passed away in Mexico a few weeks ago was remembered in a rally in his home town of Ondarru last Sunday. 300 people took part in a very emotional rally where his life was celebrated. He had to go on the run when he was 27 and he spent the next three decades in Mexico where he become very well known for helping other Basque escapees.
Speakers at the rally spoke of the Spanish authorities witch hunt against Basque political refugees and the recent arrests in Ireland, Venezuela and the north of the Basque Country and the disappereance of Jon Anza. They said hundreds of Basques had to escape to be free from torture and jail and declared that the pro-independence movement will continue fighting for a democratic solution to the conflict to make the return of all of them possible.