Oread Daily | 21.06.2005 20:56 | Repression
A trial of members of Basque youth organizations has ended with 24 prison sentences and 4 acquittals. The youth were sentenced to between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 years in prison. The court declared them to be members of an illegal organization, but not a terrorist one. The prosecution had claimed they were members of ETA and therefore terrorists.
Many of the defendants have already served three to four years in jail awaiting their day in court.
Before finding the youths guilty, the 4th Chamber of the Spanish National Criminal Court first declared their organizations illegal. Interesting way to do things!
The court also ordered that the organizations be disbanded.
According to Berria, those charged in the case denounced the accusations saying they had been targets of repression, “…just because they are young, and have been punished for organizing themselves and engaging in a struggle.”
During a recent demonstration Aiboa Casares, who had been remanded in custody for three years in connection with the Haika-Segi court cases, told those gathered, “We are supposed to be the sons and daughters of democracy, but the reality is quite different.” She added that for the last 25 years young people had endured the ZEN plan [of the Spanish police], the “Y” groups setup [groups allegedly supporting ETA] , outlawing and mass trials. She felt that young people were “the target of repression”, because they played an important role in any revolutionary process. “Right now over 300 young people are waiting to go on trial, waiting for test cases, brutal demands from public prosecutors… the special court [Spanish National Criminal Court] has been turned into an instrument for deciding the future of young people”.
The trial was merely the latest in the assault on the Basque Nationalist Left. For several years now newspapers, political parties, radio stations, cultural associations, and schools have been shut down by the Spanish state, while hundreds have been jailed, thousands driven into exile, and millions of Euros worth of assets seized. Always Spain claims the targets are members of ETA and therefore terrorists.
Many of those charged and/or convicted are held far away from their homes, sometimes on the Canary Islands, so that visits are difficult.
Revolution reports that Basque prisoners are commonly tortured. Spanish law allows prisoners suspected of terrorism to be held five days with no outside communication or lawyer. Reports of beatings, electric shock, suffocation with plastic bags, threats of rape and the like are common. Revolution says, “The number of incidents reported, including cases of attempted suicide by prisoners, has led even the United Nations to recognize that the Spanish government is violating the conditions it agreed to in the Convention against Torture.”
The largely youth organizations which have been targeted are not underground terrorists cells or urban guerrillas. Despite the state ban they have tens of thousands of members and operate in the open. Their goals are independence and socialism, the rights of young people, against the precarious employment which affects up to half of the young people in the Spanish state, against drug addiction, in defense of women’s' rights and occupied houses, for Basque language and culture.
Said one young person at a recent rally, “We are fighting because we want to be free young people in a free country.” Sources: Berria, EITB 24, World Revolution
To see the NEW Oread Daily Blog: http://oreaddaily.blogspot.com/
To view the entire Oread Daily: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OreadDaily/
To subscribe to the Oread Daily: OreadDailyemail@example.com
To contact the Oread Daily: firstname.lastname@example.org