21 January 2010

Solidarity with the Basque political prisoners.

400 people rallied in Donostia/San Sebastian to demand the immediate release of the local political prisoner Juan Jose Rego. As we previously reported the 70-year-old prisoner has spent 15 years in jail and suffers numerous very serious illnesses. He recently suffered a heart attack. He can barely see and move and as he told his wife last week he won’t be able to survive another five years in jail. According to Spanish law seriously ill prisoners must be released.

Basque political prisoner Jon Bilbao entered his 29th year in jail last week. He was arrested in January 1982 and was brutally tortured during nine days of incommunicado detention. He should have been released in 2002 according to Spanish law. The oldest prisoner in Europe is Basque political prisoner Jose Mari Sagardui who was arrested in 1980.

450 people took part in the annual Solidarity Day in the northern Basque Country last weekend to protest against repression, to show support to the Basque political prisoners and refugees and their relatives and to remember those who died. They especially remembered former Basque political prisoner and refugee and ETA member Jon Anza, nine months after he went missing.

Many protests took place on Monday across the Basque Country to demand answers about his disappearance. Nine months on and there is still no outcome from the French police investigation despite the strong suspicion of the involvement of Spanish undercover police units.

Few months before Jon Anza’s disappearance another Basque political refugee was kidnapped for several hours by undercover Spanish policemen in the northern Basque Country (under French administration). This week the French court dealing with this case was told by the Spanish authorities they couldn’t identify the owners of four Spanish mobile phone signals detected that day where the Basque refugee was abducted.

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