Friday, September 19, 2008

Spain Bans EHAK

Another day, another Basque political party banned thanks to a law that reminds us that Francisco Franco's ideology is alive and kicking in Spain.

The main stream media, as usual, has been repeating the same header: "Spain bans another party for ties with ETA".

Therein lies the problem, when they say another they point to the fact that there has been other bans, which takes us to the first Basque political party banned in "democratic" Spain: Batasuna.

Yes, Batasuna was banned back in 2003 accused of being ETA's political wing. Five years later and the Spanish government has been unable to produced one single piece of evidence to support the accusation, despite having seized documents and computers the night that their para-military forces raided Batasuna's headquarters and offices all over Euskal Herria.

The case ended up in Strasbourg and a verdict regarding if Batasuna is or is not ETA's political wing has not been reached, yet, Spain bans EHAK stating that they took over Batasuna.

Here you have The International Herald Tribune's article regarding the most recent case of Apartheid like repression by Spain against the Basque people:

Spain: another Basque party banned

MADRID, Spain: The Spanish Supreme Court has banned a Basque nationalist party on grounds that it is linked to the armed group ETA, the third ruling this week against pro-independence groups in the troubled region.

The court outlawed the Communist Party of the Basque Lands on grounds it is a tool of Batasuna, the banned political wing of ETA.

The move announced Thursday night means the government will shut down the party's offices and seize its assets. The nine party members who hold seats in the Basque regional parliament will retain them but will be stripped of party affiliation.

Earlier this week the court outlawed another pro-independence party, Basque Nationalist Action, and Gestoras Pro Amnistia, an advocacy group for jailed ETA members. In both cases the court cited links to ETA.

The Communist Party of the Basque Lands won its seats in the 75-member Basque Parliament in 2005. Prior to that election, Spain's opposition conservative Popular Party had pressed the Socialist government to file suit and have the party banned under a law devised specifically to go after Batasuna, which was outlawed in 2003.

The Spanish attorney general refused, however, saying there was insufficient evidence. Conservatives complained that this allowed ETA to retain a voice in the parliament.

In 2006, the government negotiated with ETA after the group declared a cease-fire. The peace talks failed and ETA resumed violence in a matter of months.

In January of this year the government did move against the Communist Party of the Basque Lands and Basque Nationalist Action, asking the Supreme Court to declare them illegal.

The Popular Party welcomed the latest Supreme Court ruling, but said it came too late.

The party's spokesman on judicial affairs, Federico Trillo, said the conservatives will ask Attorney General Candido Conde-Pumpido to appear in Parliament and explain why the government now felt the two parties had to be banned, but did not think so in 2005.

"Those who have had an unexplainable and unexplained change of criteria must assume their political responsibilities," Trillo said Thursday night.

Notice how Spain's politicians haggle about the issue of timing when in reality they work together when it comes to removing the political options for the Basque society to excercize its right to have political representation.

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