Sunday, October 19, 2008

Canada Extradites Basque Citizen

Ivan Apaolaza Sancho, 36, was extradited to Spain despite the evidence that the charges brought against him by Spain were based on information obtained through torture.

Disregarding the many reports on the subject of torture against Basque citizens by human rights organization like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the Canadian government acted against the rights of Ivan Apaolaza.

Ivan Apaolaza is wanted by Spanish authorities on charges of terrorism, hiding arms and explosives and collaborating with an armed group, the kind of charges that Spain always issues against Basque nationals. Just a reminder, Asier Arronategi who was extradited from Mexico to Spain has been released after more than four years of incarceration without Spain ever taking him to court for the alleged charges that prompted his extradition in the first place.

Ivan was arrested in Quebec in June 2007 carrying false identity papers. Immigration officials ordered that he be deported back to Spain in May this year. Apaolaza's supporters fear for his safety when he arrives in Spain and are calling for Spanish authorities to guarantee he will not be subject to incommunicado detention and torture.

No matter the outcome, with this decision Canada has become a country that approves the use of torture against members of minority ethnic groups, rights activist and authoritarian regimes' dissidents.

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