First you can sign the Petition on Line here.
Second, you can use the banner at the bottom, hang it at your own site and link it to this page.
We appreciate your efforts and your support.
NO LINK BETWEEN BASQUE AND ISLAMIC MILITANTS: FRENCH JUDGE
MADRID, July 27 (AFP) - No evidence has emerged to suggest any collaboration or connection between the Basque separatist movement ETA and extremist Islamic organisations, French anti-terrorist judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere told Spanish radio on Tuesday.
"We have uncovered no document showing a link, not even of a logistical nature, between ETA and Islamic organisations," Bruguiere, an expert on the Al-Qaeda terror network, told broadcaster Cadena Ser. Bruguiere has previously interviewed Jamal Zougam, considered to have played a leading role in the bombings of four commuter trains in Madrid on March 11, which killed 191 people in Spain's worst ever terrorist outrage.
Bruguiere questioned Zougam, now in Spanish custody, as part of an investigation begun in 1998 and focusing on young French radicals recruited to train at Al-Qaeda-affiliated camps in Afghanistan who are believed to have spent some time in Spain.
"That is to say this network existed, but I don't know that one could have anticipated or imagined an attack (such as March 11)," the judge said.
"We are facing a very different threat from that of ETA," he warned. "We are up against terrorism of the third millennium whose structure is global, ideological and loose," Bruguiere went on.
Solidarity With Basque Journalist Inaki Uria, Jailed Due to the Process Against the Newspaper "Egunkaria"
The Spanish State, that maintains the southern part of Euskal Herria (Basque Country) under occupation,attacks systematically and seeks to destroy the columns on which the land of our ancestors is built.Within this frame, on february 20th of 2003 the Government of then Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar (infamous around the world for his cuestionable actions after the attacks of M-11 in Madrid) ordered the closing of the news paper Euskaldunon Egunkaria, the only one in the world published entirely inEuskera, the Basque language. It was not the first time something like this would happen: the newspaperEgin, the radio station Egin Irratia and the magazine Ardi Beltza, media outlets of nationalist tendencies, had been targets of similar attacks by the neo-Fascist Spanish State.
Within the frame of the political, judicial and law enforcement operation against Egunkaria, many of the people in charge of the publication were detained and held incommunicado, enduring torture from the hands ofthe Guardia Civil. What Martxelo Otamendi told the public after his release on bail was heart wrenching.He was fisically and emotionally abused, with absolut impunity. That is the way the Spanish State and its alleged democracy behave with those who defend, with their work, the right of the Basque women and men to access balanced information of unmatched quality inEuskera. Today, one of the assesors of that newspaper, Inaki Uria, remains in jail. He is one of the many political prisoners that are behind bars in a state that has been denounced on the international arena for mistreating and harassing the Basque prisoners. His one and only crime was to work towards the freedom of speech of those Basque women and men that every morning wished to read the news of their country and the whole world, and do so in their own ancient language.
The Spanish Audiencia Nacional, heir to the infamous Francoist Tribunal de Orden Publico, has imposed a bail of 600,000 euros on Uria as a pre-condition for him to secure his freedom. Later the amount was reduced to 450,000 euros, a steep amount that makes it impossible for his loved ones to raise it any time soon.The Asociacion Disapora Vasca, nationalist group integrated by over 300 people with presence in 20 countries, whishes to inform that we support the campaign of signatures initiated by the group “InakiUria Askatu” (Free Inaki Uria), to demand his freedom. We invite you to access the web pagehttp://www.uriaaskatu.com/gutunerako.php and add your signature as to tell the Spanish Government that our political prisoners are recipients of our support and our solidarity not only from the Basque women and men in Euskal Herria but also from the ones in the Diaspora, and also from those women and men that defend the freedom of speech throughout the world.
Due to the fact that the page is written entirely inEuskera, we provide this information:
Izen-abizenak: Name and Last Name.
E-posta: E Mail.
Nortasun Agiria: ID Card Number.
Once the fields have been filled, you can click on“bidali” (send).
We want to thank you in advance for your support.
Iñaki askatu orain!
Free Iñaki Now!
Asociación Diáspora Vasca
Germany, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia,Brazil, Castile, Catalunya, Colombia, Chile, Denmark,Ecuador, Spanish State, French State, United Kingdom,México, Perú, Puerto Rico, Sweeden, Switzerland,Uruguay, USA, Venezuela.
Here is the note at Berria:
Spanish Civil Guard officers occupy Etxarri-Aranatz due to Summer School
After the town had been taken over for three hours, the organisers decided to suspend the activities
Alberto Barandiaran – ETXARRI-ARANATZ (Navarre)
At midday yesterday Spanish Civil Guard and plain-clothes officers staged a three-hour occupation of the town of Etxarri-Aranatz (Navarre), because of a Young People's Summer School being held there, and proceeded to identify many people. The town's main street was full of officers openly carrying weapons and when the mayor asked for an explanation for the show, they told him that they were "routine, precautionary exercises". "Besides, the way they told us was as if they were doing it for our own security," complained the mayor, Juan Bautista Marinelarena.
Marinelarena stressed that the occupation "was an attack on the whole town of Etxarri-Aranatz" and that the attitude of the security forces was unacceptable. "It has been a provocation and could have had serious consequences if the citizens of Etxarri had not acted in a mature way," added the mayor.
Emilie Laplacette, speaking on behalf of the organisers, stressed that it had been "yet another chapter in the series of attacks on young people". "But we want to make it quite clear that they will never block the course the young people have embarked on," she said.
.... ... .
Aznar used taxpayers’ money to secure medal in United States
He paid lobbyists to promote his image in order to get the Congressional medal
Agencies – MADRID
The Spanish Ser radio station revealed yesterday that while in power the former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar engaged an American firm of lawyers who act as lobbyists to promote his image and collect signatures to enable him to get the Congressional Gold Medal. The contract was signed in secret and was paid for with Foreign Ministry funds.
The news has sparked off widespread criticism. In accordance with the terms of the contract signed with the Piper Rudnick firm of lawyers, the Spanish Ambassador to the United States Javier Ruperez paid 700,000 dollars at the beginning of the year and had undertaken to pay other sums during the following months until the figure of two million dollars had been reached. According to the document, the contract would be broken if Aznar lost the Spanish General Elections last March.
Thanks to the blatant displays of disregard for international law and Mexican Constitution, both the PRD and the PRI, the main opposition parties in Mexico have demanded fort he whole extradition process to be studied and analyzed for possible infractions. And if it is true that the Spanish Ambassador lied they suggest that some diplomatic action most take place.
When you play with fire...
There is a new site on the net dedicated to the Basque community in Mexico. The web-master is Jaione, she is an excellent lady completely dedicated to the spread the knowledge of the Basque culture and history around the world. She is also involved in the defense of the Basque people right to their self determination.
Please visit the site Vascos Mexico, fair warning, it is in Spanish.
France decides not to serve EAW on Segi members
The young people believe the Public Prosecutor has put forward arguments of the kind that will not allow the granting of other requests that might be filed
Gurutze Izagirre – DONOSTIA (San Sebastian)
France will not be handing over to Spain Amaia Rekarte, Yves Matxikote and Haritza Galarraga, the three Lapurdi (Labourd) members of the left-wing Basque nationalist youth organisation Segi . That is what the French Supreme Court of Appeal told the lawyers of the three young people yesterday. They were not, however, informed of the reasons for the ruling. The news took the three young people by surprise. Yesterday they were attending a press conference in Paris on the EAW (European Arrest Warrant) and after hearing the news they happily set off back to the Basque Country in the afternoon.
So French Justice has turned down the request filed by Baltasar Garzon, the Spanish National Criminal Court judge. Garzon had asked France to serve an EAW on them on the grounds that they were members of "a terrorist organisation".
Basque prisoner Oihane Errazkin found hanged in Fleury
The Askatasuna association says the "persecution" of Basque political prisoners and their dispersion are responsible for her death; it has asked the organisations that are keeping quiet to break their silence and has called for mobilisation
Eneko Bidegain – BAIONA (Bayonne)
Warders of the Fleury Merogis prison found the Basque prisoner Oihane Errazkin dead yesterday morning. 31-year-old Errazkin from Donostia (San Sebastian) is believed to have committed suicide; she had hanged herself. Mrs Leguedey of the French Prisons' Authority gave BERRIA few details about yesterday's events. She confirmed that prison warders had found her dead. "A judicial enquiry has begun. The Public Prosecutor is handling the matter. It's out of our hands." That was all she said.
Oihane Errazkin's body was taken away from the prison yesterday. It was at the Evry mortuary yesterday afternoon. Relatives and their lawyer set out for Paris. Jon Enparantza, the lawyer, told BERRIA from Paris that the relatives were going to see Oihane Errazkin's body at 09.00 this morning. Then a post-mortem examination was going to be performed. They would have another opportunity to see her body afterwards.
Her body will be brought to the Basque Country some time during the next few days. The plan is for tribute to be paid at the airport of Miarritze (Biarritz) when her body is brought back. After that a national demonstration will be organised in Donostia (San Sebastian) before a final tribute.
Errazkin's fellow prisoners Lorentxa Beyrie and Saroia Galarraga asked their trial to be postponed during their hearing yesterday. Beyrie and Galarraga, like Xabier Abaunza and Gabi Saez who were tried with them, were "devastated". The judge nevertheless decided to proceed with the trial. Those being tried said Oihane Errazkin had been "a victim of the French system".
Police bomb disposal experts deny they pointed finger at ETA on March 11
They told the commission investigating the attack that they had said the bomb had contained dynamite and not Titadyne, habitually used by the armed group
According to declarations made yesterday by bomb disposal experts of the Tedax section of the Spanish Police before the commission investigating the March 11 Madrid bombings, it was known by 14.00 hours on the day of the attack that dynamite was the explosive used. But they denied that they had directly or indirectly pointed the finger at the armed organisation ETA. An Islamic group was responsible for the attack, which killed 200 people and injured hundreds when bombs were detonated on trains.
Expert: Spanish Officials Blamed Basques
Wed Jul 7,11:45 AM ET
By DANIEL WOOLLS, Associated Press Writer
MADRID, Spain - The Spanish government accused Basque separatists of carrying out the Madrid train bombings — now blamed on Islamic terrorists — before experts had determined what kind of explosives were used, an official testified Wednesday. Juan Jesus Sanchez Manzano, head of the Interior Ministry's bomb disposal unit, testified in the second day of Spanish parliamentary hearings into the March 11 attack, which killed 190 people.
Sanchez Manzano said the type of explosives used in the blasts — Goma 2 Eco, a kind of dynamite — was not precisely identified until the next morning, after experts had been able to examine a backpack bomb that failed to explode.
By then Interior Minister Angel Acebes already had blamed the Basque separatist group ETA for the train bombings. Lawmakers at the hearing said police incorrectly told Acebes the explosives were Titadyne, a type of dynamite used by ETA, which later denied involvement in the attack.
Acebes continued to blame ETA even as he acknowledged that the explosives were still being analyzed.
"It is possible there was some kind of confusion," Sanchez Manzano testified. But nobody in his bomb disposal unit ever identified the explosives as Titadyne, he said.
Mayo and Zubeldia have said goodbye to the podium. Mayo suffered a fall and Zubeldia got held up on the cobblestone section and lost 3.48. The stage was won by Jean-Patrick Nazon
June 18, 1815. The end of the Battle of Waterloo. The British under Wellington and the Prussians under von Blücher and von Bulow defeated the French army led by Napoleon. It marked the end of the Napoleonic Empire. July 6, 2004 did not see the end of an empire, because there wasn’t one, but it did see the shattering of the dreams of nine cyclists and a team, on whom a country had pinned its hopes. Until now Waterloo has been a milestone in the history of Europe. From now on it will be an episode in the black history of the Euskaltel-Euskadi team. Haimar Zubeldia and Iban Mayo, the two leaders of the team, said goodbye to the Tour de France, to the podium, during the stage which set off from that Belgian town.
Revelers throw an unidentified woman into the air as others wave the Basque flag during the 'Txupinazo' of the official opening of the 2004 San Fermin Festival in Irunea, Euskal Herria, Tuesday July 6, 2004. The festival includes morning running of the bulls down the main street of the city and afternoon bullfights.
.... ... .
Inaki Uria's defence lawyers appeal against Del Olmo's ruling
In response to the request to reduce the bail figure, the Public Prosecutor asked that the amount be reduced to 450,000 euros and that it should be paid in cash; Del Olmo accepted the proposal as it stood
Eider Goenaga – DONOSTIA (San Sebastian)
Inaki Uria's defence counsel have filed a fresh appeal against the ruling handed down by Juan Del Olmo, the Spanish National Criminal Court judge, and they will continue in this direction until they have secured the release of the managing director of Egunkaria. In fact, the ruling published by Del Olmo last Friday makes Uria's release impossible; the judge has ruled bail of 450,000 euros in cash. Uria's lawyers have three days to file an appeal against Judge Del Olmo's ruling.
The previous bail figure set by the 1st Section of the National Criminal Court was 600,000 euros, also in cash; but Uria's defence counsel filed an appeal with Del Olmo to reduce the amount. Uria's lawyer, Jose Maria Elosua, argued that the amount was "excessive", that his client did not have the financial means to pay and that a disproportionate step of this kind infringed the "principle of equality". His defence not only asked for the amount to be reduced, but also for an opportunity to be given for it to be paid by providing security.
Spain a terrorist target for months prior to Madrid bombings, docs say
10:35 PM EDT Jul 05
MADRID, Spain (AP) - Dozens of declassified documents were delivered Saturday to
Spain's parliament ahead of hearings on the March 11 train bombings in Madrid.
One police document reportedly said islamist terrorists had been plotting to attack Spain since late 2003, months before the blasts that killed 190 people.
A parliamentary commission will begin work Tuesday examining evidence and interviewing officials and witnesses to determine whether the bombings might have been prevented and whether steps taken since have increased Spain's security.
The commission, made up of lawmakers from all parties in parliament, has sparred with the government and security agencies over what classified material it will be allowed to examine.
The bombing has been blamed on Islamic militants with possible links to the international terrorist group al-Qaida.
By Paula Andrist
The peloton rolls along at almost 200 riders strong. They aren't hard to pick out in their day-glow orange kits, the riders of the all-Basque team, Euskaltel-Euskadi. Originally the team was formed January 1, 1994, by the Euskadi Foundation, with the stock proceeds from a company of shareholders going to support a team of the best Basque cyclists. Then named simply, Euskadi, which in Basque means "the Basques", the team grew and flourished. In 1997 when the team became too expensive for the shareholders to support, the Basque telephone company, Euskaltel (which is where the day-glow orange comes from), joined as sponsor and the team was appropriately renamed Euskaltel-Euskadi. The all-Basque unit made its Tour debut in 2001 and has been known as an animator of the race ever since.
In 2004, Euskaltel-Euskadi comes to the Tour de France with a solid line up, including two possible GC contenders and several seasoned veterans, including three Tour de France stage winners. The roster is: Iban Mayo, Haimar Zubeldia, Unai Etxebarria, David Etxebarria, Gorka Gonzalez, Iker Flores, Iker Camano, Egoi Martinez, and Inigo Landaluze.