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Letter about basque prisoner Iñaki De Juana Chaos

jai | 17.12.2006 21:30 | Repression | World

Letter to British Press and European Parlamentary Groups about Iñaki De Juana Chaos in prison because the content of two articles. You can sign and send it too.

We have send it to:
The Independent:
The Guardian:
Irish Independent

And also to: Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance and y Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left. This last has an email address for all the group But the first ones you have to contact directly to a member, so you choose who:

Czech Republic:Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
Mr Marek Stavinoha

Cyprus: AKEL
Ms Vera Polycarpou

Denmark: Folkebevaegelsen mod EU
Ms Mette Tonsberg

Finland: Vasemmistolitto (VAS)
Ms Pauliina Murto

France: Parti Communiste Francais (PCF)
Mr Patrick Alexanian

Germany: Partei des Demokratischen Zocialismus (PDS)
Ms Kerstin Eekman

Greece:Kommunistiko Komma Elladas (KKE)
Mr Kratis Kyriazis

Ms Soultana Pantazidou

Holland: Socialistische Partij
Mr René Roovers

Ireland: Sinn Féin
Mr Brian Carty

Italy:Rifondazione Comunista (RC)
Mr Stefano Squarcina

Partito dei Comunisit Italiani (PdCI)
Mr Roberto Galtieri

Portugal: Partido Comunista Português (PCP)
Mr Pedro Carvalho

Bloco de Esquerda (Left Bloc)
Mr Renato Soeiro

Spain: Izquierda Unida (IU)
Mr Dioni Fernandez-Diaz

Sweden: Vänsterpartiet (V)
Ms Carolina Falk

Dear Sir or Madam,

We would like to call your attention upon a case of conscience prisoner in
hunger strike Spain. Besides the intrinsic interest of such a flagrant
violation of the most elementary right to free speech, it is happening in
the midst of a peace process and the adverse effects on such processes of
people dying in prison are well known by the British and Irish public.

Iñaki de Juana Chaos served 18 years of prison convicted for participating
in 1986 in several attacks of ETA against the Guardia Civil and for being
member of ETA. He should have been released on October 25, 2004 because he
was tried following the francoist Penal Code of 1973, which says that the
maximum time in prison is 30 years. "Remission" (time deducted from the
sentence because of several objective criteria such as studies, good
behaviour, etc) was calculated on that maximum serving time. But in 1995 the
Spanish Gov. changed the code eliminating remission and the maximum time in
prison went up to 40 years for those accused of terrorism. Judges applied
retroactively these two points to Iñaki De Juana Chaos. Even by this
retroactively applied form of calculation he should have been released
anyway in February 2006.

The Spanish Home Officer Jose Antonio Alonso looked for measures to prevent
the prisoners accused of being member of ETA to be released after serving
their sentence. The Spanish Minister of Justice Juan Fernando Lopez-Aguilar
publicly said 'they are not to be released before they have shown remorse'
(expressly contradicting the Spanish criminal law - or any other - which
doesn't contemplate such a requirement in order to count a served sentence
for served) and 'we will construct new imputations". And this was the case
with Iñaki De Juana Chaos: he was accused of "terrorist threats" because of
the content of two opinion articles ("The Shield" & "Gallizo") he had
published in the press (in December 2004). Because of this "newly
constructed imputations" he did not abandon prison as he was held in
"preventive prison" waiting for trial. The public prosecutor announced he
was to ask for 96 years of prison. De Juana made a hunger strike during 63
days (from August 7th 2006 to October 8th 2006), and he was subdued to
force-feeding using nasogastric tube and tied to his bed. Finally, public
prosecutor asked for a penalty between 4 and 13 years and De Juana has been
condemned to 12 years and 7 months (the trial was on 27th October). He begun
a new hunger strike on 7th November (2006). In December 11th De Juana was
subdued again to force-feeding by nasogastric tube and he was tied to his
bed again. Doctors say that he is in inminent danger of death, from his
first hunger strike until today he has lost 36 kilograms and he is now in 57
kilograms (he's about 1'80 mts. long).

We paste below translation of the two articles and the link to the originals
in Spanish at the webpage of Gara (the newspaper where they were published).

Thank you so very much for your attention, faithfully,

El Escudo (The Shield, original in Spanish):

Gallizo (original in Spanish):


I watch TV I listen to the radio. I read newspapers and magazines. And the
bombing is intense and permanent. The enemy is self-infatuated. Arrests in
both the Northern and Southern Basque Country. Round ups both in the Spanish
and French State. Poisonous reports trying to inoculate the virus of

"El Lobo" ("the wolf") a simple grass to whom the pigs emptied before they
threw him to the dunghill of uselessness (as they do with every little
grass) is being recovered and raised to the category of hero of infiltration
and secret services. He is being raised to the status of starring role in
films and documentaries where he shows off bizarrely thanks to TV & film
scripts and cheque-books (1).

Discouragement maneouvres. Publication of private correspondence and
conversations, totally or partially, but either way in manipulated and
interested versions (even if we should admit that we shouldn't be giving
them such facilities)(2).

Penal dispersion: from prison to prison and within each prison.
Mistreatment, tortures... renewed in time but permanent in their forms and
as ancient as political repression is. Aggressions. Sick mates blackmailed
with the gravity of their situation.

Yes, the assault is strong in every front as much as it is undeniable. Maybe
the enemy conjectures that he can end up with us? that he can finish with
the Basque National Liberation Movement? Do they think they will manage to
make a whole people give in or at least silence its steps by making it walk
exclusively over a carpeted floor?

I don't need to be a soothsayer in order to cry out, with all my strength
and conviction, this politically incorrect expression: you are done with!
fuck off with all of that because you are not going to win. Or haven't you
noticed yet that we have an invulnerable shield which is no other than

As every totalitarian power, fascist or neo-fascist, the current PSOE
government, (as did its predecessor and as the former ones did) is in
permanent need of re-writing history. In permanent need of manipulating and
lying, creating evil and good characters at will, by far surpassing the
limits of the well-known orwellian fiction. And this is a war strategy with
the only and stated purpose of assimilating us, obtaining our resignation
from our principles, values, and rights and our integration in their system.

Conniving judges, corrupt politicians, torture professionals, ruthless
jailers you are boring, tiring and foreseeable. You don't deserve any
respect or consideration, not even a minimal one such as to keep down the
tone of this letter.

But all this deserves explanation. Is Zapatero"mood" (3) totalitarian? Are
those little blue eyes and angel-like smile fascist? The very self-same who
took the troops off Iraq? The one who is going to modify abortion, divorce
and so many other laws to get a tamed left satisfied? Well, yes,
totalitarianism without a single doubt. Because he who - taking the Basque
Country as a first priority, as it couldn't be otherwise - passes martial
laws, creates special courts, protects torture, prosecutes and represses
rights of association, expression and freedom of the press, bans people from
political and electoral participation, and does all this in order to keep a
nation silent and denying its right to self-determination, is a hand-book
fascist. And we can forget about language embellishments.

Technically, the 25th October 2004, I finished serving the prison sentence
that their legal and penal system imposed on me by the Criminal Code of
1973, a francoist code uncomparably "softer" than the current one devised by
Franco's heirs. From this date on, I haven't left prison, officially because
the judge Gómez Bermúdez another meteoric starlette built upon Basque
suffering - has "doubts" as to the served sentence. Once more I cannot avoid
being astonished - and I hope I never loose this capability - the contempt
in which their servants have their own laws. That we, who combat them,
reject them is only natural but that those who eat by them despise them is
an index of which their function is.

The terms "illegality", "kidnapping" etc. cannot and shouldn't be used in my
case, though. And I don't like they use it in my defense, because it is 700
mates that we are retained in an illegal form and kidnapped by an
authoritarian system - some of them from a longer time than I am. And out of
the prison walls the whole non-conformist part of society stands in a
similar situation. Anyway, there hundreds of thousands of Basques enduring a
penal 4th grade (4), awaiting for uniformed people to hit their door and
notify them repression for bad behavior.

The minister López Aguilar has been far clearer: De Juana cannot leave
prison in any way whatsoever. And that's it. ¿The reason why? He doesn't
show any sign of "resocialization". Fortunately enough, it is a vast
majority of the 700 inmates and a great part of Basque socitey who doesn't
display any "signs of resocialization".

Because "resocialize" in the sense the enemy employs it, implies the defeat
and acceptance of the counter-values so magnificently represented by Lopez
Agular, Zapatero and Gomez Bermudez. But they ahould ask themselves a
question: if 700 mates with thousands of years served and to serve in prison
upon our backs do not display signs of "resocialization", doesn't it mean
something fails in their "penal treatment"? the failing bit is that we count
on the shield of reason. This and that there is nothing, whether in the
personal o political sphere, that cannot be overcome, unless it is the
internalization of failure.

Any process knows ups and downs. Appearances are deceitful. In politics,
noise doesn't mean strength, as silence doesn't mean weakness. We are going
to win. Let us read the history of other processes but of successful ones,
not of those that failed. Let us compare the acceptance of our political
discourse on the part of Basque society now and 25 years ago. The rest is
easy: work, sacrifice, learning from mistakes and not to put sticks in our
own bicycle's wheels.

Years ago, I heard a very appreciated mate crying loudly: "take off your
dirty hands from the Basque Country". Yes, you take them off, because any
other road only implies more suffering still. Otherwise the future will end
up showing, doubtless, that you lost them.

(1) N. of trans. El Lobo, Mikel Lejarza Egia, was a famous informer of
Franco's police. In the last years the Spanish far-right journal "El Mundo"
or connected media has published a book, a series of TV "documentaries", and
even a fiction film with a handsome and popular actor has been devoted to
his figure.

(2) N. of trans. The promotion of the informer was matched by the promotion
of the surrendering resistant in the Spanish media. In those days, a private
letter of some inmates showing their "tiredness" and disposition to abandon
the fight was conveniently "filtrated" to the press as representative of the
basque prisoners' collective.

(3) N. of trans. The original says "talante" an expression made famous
during Zapatero's campaign before his election.

(4) N. of trans. There 3 "grades" of prison inmates in Spain: very roughly
1st grades are uncommunicated within prison, 2nd grades not, and 3rd grades
may spend the day out of prison.



Last December 14th, Ms. Margarita Uria addressed the Prime Minister in the
Commission Investigating the 11-M to ask him, among other things, for
certain penal questions. After a preamble of blushing praises to Ms.
Mercedes Gallizo, the commisioner asked Zapatero only about the filtration
to the press of certain images and a letter to the mass-media.

Ms. Margarita didn't questioned about torture and mistreatment. Neither did
she asked about inmates' death and illness. She didn't displey any interest
on isolation and uncommunication measures. Or for accidents suffered. And
least of all did she ask for the dispersion policy. Maybe because she could
have received the answer that its main promoter was her own political party.
A PNV (Basque Nationalist Party) legitimating repression and the most cruel
penal policy, not anly in its theoretical design and cover its being
carrying out, but as a main actor with its own advisors in the Penal
Instituitions department.

Neither Ms. Margarita Uria nor any of the MP's brandishing human rights as
their banner had the least thought of showing any interest on the sexual
abuse suffered by some of the detainees in the last round ups. About this,
Ms. Uria doesn't have any interest, neither as MP, nor even as a woman.

And she doesn't care because she knows that being arrested as an alleged ETA
member - with the attending media coverage - is reason enough to be deprived
of any right, even that of not being tortured. Old fashioned hypocrisy used
to say: "he who steals from a thief, has a hundred years of relief". The new
referents of the citizenry say: "making violence to the aggressed one is not
double violence, is justice and silence". But this we all now. Including the
commissioner who praises Ms. Gallizo.

And amongst so many praises in between decent people (unlike me, who are
Basque and red, besides practicing so many "isms") I wondered whether I was
wrong. Be positive, Iñaki! I told to myself. I imagined the concrete walls
were made of chocolate and the Iron bits made out of cotton candy. I
imagined the three inmates dead last night in the prisons of Langraiz and
Zuera were marzipan dolls. But, curiously enough, I couldn't imagine Ms.
Gallizo being any other thing than what she actually is, as they
predecessors were before her.

When the PSOE won last general elections, whether out of candour or
necessity, certain expectations were raised amongst those who are not prone
to create them. Such illusions, time generally proofs false. The same
happened when Ms. Gallizo was appointed as general director of Penitentiary
Institutions. Even, in principle, the numerous changes in the direction of
the different prisons could be taken as a prelude to more significant
changes, knowing the list of names of the appointed persons reassured my
conviction of the only horizon of justice in prisons being the abolition of
its walls. A hope far more realist, as utopian as it could like, and without
any hint of hypocrisy, than pretending that concrete and iron enclose human
rights instead of violence and suffering.

In this prison of Algeciras, Ms. Gallizo deposed its director Miguel Ángel
Rodriguez AKA "swordeater". An enlightened professional who reacted
instantly when hearing the name of a Basque political prisoner, fluently
elaborating an elaborated discourse: "judicial resolutions concerning ETA
members I pass through my bollocks". Quite an old acquaintance of the
collective of Basque prisoners who has not been deposed for accumulating
mountains of complaints and irregularities. He hasn't been deposed even on
account of a triffle such as, presumably, putting his hand in the money box
in Puerto II prison (on account of which a dossier was opened against him).
He has been deposed for not belonging to the same political party as Ms.
Gallizo. Now, that's it!

I put TV. They're informing about the cinema festival at Huelva. Together
with the actor Imanol Arias, honouring him, almost salivating around him, I
think to recognise a face of unpleasant memories. He's got white hair and
looks like very old, although it is not because of a disturbing conscience I
guess. This must be the punishment of excesses. I feel the stupid
consolation of noticing that, in this case, the torturer has worse looks
than the tortured. Ther is no doubt. This face is engraved on our memories
through mistreatment and hunger. It is Francsico Sanz, sub-director at
Malaga prison. Director of Salto del Negro, Puerto II, and now of the Huelva
prison. There he has arranged an award to be given by prisoners during the
cinema festival. That's why he salivates around Imanol Arias. First thing to
come to my mind in front of such an image is this: has the actor noticed the
furrow of the truncheon and the humidity of blood when shaking hands? No
change of director in Huelva prison, it seems.

The list of new appointments is long. Up to 21 names, and 10 more counting
changes of destination. Some of the surnames make me search in my memory. It
was the year 1977, I guess, because the only archive I count on, my brain is
no hard disk. Anyway, it was during the years following Franco's death when
society was full of illusion and the political parties were conspiring to
destroy it. I walked throgh Madrid one of those many days of demonstrations
asking for amnesty and freedom. I left behind the Major Street. I walked up
the Bookshops street. And by the disappeared Darde Hotel, I found a group of
youngsters like me, who ran down the street crying out: "they've shot"! More
curious than cautious I went down the end of the street. Took the right, via
La Estrella, and a few meters away, a young man lied on the floor, dead in a
pool of blood. It was full policemen and apparently the ones who shot were
Argentinians of the AAA. What does it matter! It was one those acronyms (all
of them hide the same thing) that re-appear when they find it convenient.

The dead young man was called Arturo Ruiz. He had a brother who started
being a left-winger and ended up being a member of PSOE, and becoming a
jailer. A trusted servant, so much that his office was used during the night
to celebrate secret conversations between Govt. representatives and
representatives of an armed revolutionary organization which is NOT ETA. One
of those negotiations that never exist, and if they do, are denied. Arturo
Ruiz died in a day of fight for amnesty and freedom. His brother lives to
curtail it. And lives quite well as the new directr of Sevilla II prison.

Jesús Eladio del Rey Reguillo, AKA "the Thin one", appointed new director of
Valdemoro prison. First thing to come to my mind is the riot at Herrera de
la Mancha, module one, in the year 1988. Out of little more than 40 Basque
political prisoners the half of us passed through the infirmary, and five
mates ended up in hospital with broken bones. A bizarre image, that of the
Thin One, mountain knife in hand, leading a well nurtured group of jailers
and Civil Guards (1), going through the galleries of the module, cell by
cell, indicating who was to receive a simple or double session of beating.

Manuel Martínez Cano, AKA Mr. Lips, newly appointed director of Jaen prison.
Instigator, and the inciter of the said riot. The only pleasant memory he's
left on a prisoner is that he was seen utterly frightened and covered in
white powder from a fire extinguisher during that very riot.

Antonio Diego Amrtín, appointed director of Puerto II and processed for
torture and unnecessary rigour in Sevilla II prison. He was tried together
with the former general director of Penitenciary Institutions, Antonio
Asunción, and was never severed from his repressing job, that he has
exercised up to now in the Melilla prison. The inmates fettered for weeks to
their beds, the torture sesions, naked and covered in water, the laments and
cries, didn't earn him one single day of being put apart from his post. On
the contrary they deserve a promotion at the arrival of Ms. Gallizo.

To what avail going on with the list? I got convinced. The new prisons
policy of the new government of Mr. Rodriguez Zapatero consists in
recovering and promoting the characters who have left the saddest of
memories amongst prisoners in general, and to the collective of Basque
political prisoners in particular. Or keeping at their posts the ones
fulfilling the said requirements.

Expectations are fulfilled. Or maybe I'm wrong and the torturers are capable
of fighting torture. It cannot be for lack of experience. And in this case
even I could imagine Ms. Gallizo otherwise than the way she is.

1. (N of trans) This is the funny name the military police has in


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