Here is the note, and its version in Euskara:
IBO launches campaign opposing hiring of Aznar as Georgetown lecturer
The association of the Basque diaspora has urged people to write to the University's president
I. Murua-Uria - DONOSTIA (San Sebastian)
The IBO (International Basque Organization for Human Rights) has called on people to write to Georgetown University (Washington, DC) to urge it not to hire Jose Maria Aznar, the former Spanish Head of Government, as a guest lecturer at the university, "because he has been responsible for many human and civil rights violations in the Basque region".
The IBO was set up in the United States in the wake of the closing down of Egunkaria to express international denunciation of human rights violations against Basque citizens. When John Kerry, the Democrat candidate for the United States' presidency, made declarations linking Basque citizens "to terrorism", the organisation launched a letter campaign to ask him to correct what he had said. In the end Kerry issued a rectification and an apology.
During the 2004 academic year Jose Maria Aznar will be lecturing on European politics and transatlantic relations in the Edmund A. Walsh Foreign Faculty of Georgetown University, as a guest lecturer, in the Global Leadership Institute. In January of last year while he was Prime Minister, he was awarded the University's Gold Medal of Honour. Georgetown is a Jesuit institution, the oldest of the Catholic universities of the United States.
The IBO has written at length to John DeGioia, the University's President, giving details of violations of Basque citizens' rights in many spheres; these were carried out by the Spanish Government while Aznar was in charge. It has also included a shorter letter on its web site (www.euskojustice.org) and has urged as many people as possible to send it to the University's president. Those who sign the letter point out to the university that while Aznar was in power "the human and civil rights of Basque citizens" were violated. In the longer letter the IBO informs the University President that while Aznar was prime minister Egunkaria was closed down "on a false basis", that the people arrested in the case were tortured and that the UN's Rapporteur against Torture, Theo van Boven, has lent credibility to these torture complaints.
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