Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Political Prisoners and Dirty War

The executive order to remove the pictures of the Basque political prisoners from the squares and streets of Euskal Herria is just the one more absurd and useless tactic, since it does not solve any single kind of issue.

During the last few years whe have seen how several youngsters have been incarcerated without them ever having committed a single act outside the law, we are also witness to how a number of individuals are in jail without ever even touching a fire arm. Despite this they get sentenced over "terrorist acts" and "collaborating with an armed band" charges, without incontestable and solid evidence.

The whole thing is an entire process of ill-intentioned repressive tactics. The media outlets in the Spanish state, including radio stations and tv channels broadcast news and phony debates year long, using comments with no intellectual nor political or historical value regarding the situation in the Basque Country. They freely hand out labels like "etarras", "violent bunch", "dangerous people", "the must wanted", "the masterminds" and just about any epithet that they may find suitable. And then the arrests start, really young people with their entire lives ahead of them. The arrests are loud, humiliating, brutal, and in must cases they involve torture, physical abuse, threats, humiliation and incommunicado regime.

Then they are subjected to Kafkian trial where all the main witnesses are police officers that often contradict themselves or that even commit perjury to sustain their accusations, with no evidence which is not actually the worst part, there is not even logical arguments to justify the arrest, which in turn is irrelevant too. The trial are a circus show, absurd theater plays and then the conviction comes, even more absurd, out of proportion and with no legal coherence. They are thrown into inhumane jails, taking special care in dispersing them all over the geography of the Spanish and French state. The worst jails, the worst conditions, without access to doctors or psychologists, without any humane consideration, they even endure being kept from the right to get an education and all kinds of obstacles are put up to make impossible to communicate with their relatives, friends and life partners. They receive the worst treatment a prisoner can get.

The great majority of Basque political prisoners serve unfair sentences over makeshift crimes. They serve lengthy sentences over minor crimes and are forced to serve the length of their sentences despite experiencing health problems, and many of them, with terminal illnesses are still in jail years after having completed their time.

Eternal trials and sentences, and on top, with all kinds of trickery serving time at inhumane detention center in the worst condition, and in the eventuality of regaining their freedom then there is plenty of more opportunities to continue to punish them: confiscate their homes or property, harassment, put them in jail for writting a book or an article at a newspaper, for clapping their hands, for drinking a beer at an herriko or maybe for speaking Euskera or breathing pro-independence air. And if all of this does not work, dirty war will do the job, like having them going missing, abduct them, execute them... no problem at all, because in the end, in the Spanish state this atrocities are never published, nor commented, let alone punished.

Victoria Mendoza/Gara

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