Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Egunkaria : Fifth Anniversary

Reporters Sans Frotiers will never ever mention this fifth anniversary of Spain's attack against freedom of speech and against Euskara, the Basque language. Not a word about the torture suffered by members of the staff.

But five years elapsed since Madrid ordered to shut down Egunkaria, the only newspaper that was published entirely in Euskara. It was not the first time the Spanish repressive machinery attacked a Basque media outlet, it wouldn't be the last one.

Here you have the note by EITb regarding this issue:


Court order

Fifth anniversary of closure of Basque daily Egunkaria


Today marks the fifth anniversary since the Spanish Civil Guard shut down the Basque daily Egunkaria. Twelve defendants are still waiting for a trial although the Prosecutor has not submitted any accusation.

Today, February 20, marks the fifth anniversary since the Spanish Civil Guard entered the premises of the Basque newspaper and closed off the building, following a ruling by the Spanish judge Juan del Olmo.

Judge Juan del Olmo ordered to shut down the Basque-language daily Euskaldunon Egunkaria on February 20, 2003. Furthermore, ten people were arrested within the same operation charged with illegal association with the armed band ETA: Xabier Alegria, Txema Auzmendi, Xabier Oleaga, Martxelo Otamendi, Joan Mari Torrealdai, Iñaki Uria, Pello Zubiria, Inma Gomila, Luis Goia and Fermin Lazkano.

After eight days held incommunicado, Gomila, Lazkano, Otamendi and Goia were released and the judge ordered the imprisonment of the other six. Throughout these five years these six have been released paying their respective bails and are awaiting trial.

Several political representatives of Basque parties PNV, EA, EB-Berdeak and Aralar and trade unions ELA, LAB and CCOO, members of the Royal Academy of the Basque language, writers, singers, poets and football players among others supported those accused over Egunkaria case and they pointed out that not only the newspaper is being criminalized but everything linked to the Basque language itself.

Moreover, they organized a rally on February 12, in support of “the critical conscience of the Basque society”.

To mark this sad anniversary, the defendants and some workers of the newspaper itself will participate in a rally in the Basque town of Andoain.

The trial

Five years later, the trial has not been celebrated yet. The judge said the newspaper was linked to the Basque armed group ETA in order to ban it, but according to the Public Prosecutor of the Spanish High Court that was not true.

The Public Prosecutor’s office did not summit any accusation but it seems unavoidable that the trial must be celebrated.

If found guilty, the accused could face 300 years prison sentence.

.... ... .

No comments:

Post a Comment