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Dublin - Day Of Solidarity With Iñaki De Juana

category dublin | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Monday February 19, 2007 01:46author by KJ - Irish Basque Committees Report this post to the editors

24 Hour fast and Protests

On Saturday the 17th February, members of the Irish Basque Committees organised two events in Dublin highlighting the plight of Basque hunger striker Iñaki De Juana Chaos. Iñaki should have been freed on October 25, 2004 but was instead sentenced to an extra 12 years and 7 months in prison for writing two newspaper articles. He has now suffered 103 consecutive days without accepting food. Although his sentence has since been reduced, he is determined to maintain his fast until he receives justice and is freed.

GPO Protest
GPO Protest

Firstly, a successful protest was held at 12 o’clock outside the GPO where information leaflets were distributed for over an hour. Many passers-by stopped to ask questions and sign a petition asking the Spanish government to engage in meaningful dialogue and negotiations to advance the peace process. Everyone in the vicinity was also entertained by the enthusiastic playing of a traditional Basque instrument, the Txalaparta.

At 2pm a 24-hour solidarity fast began at the side of the Bank of Ireland, College Green. Supporters gathered around a banner reading “INAKI DE JUANA, HUNGERING FOR JUSTICE, FREE HIM NOW!” and more information was given out. At 3pm the protest moved to the front of the bank where placards were displayed and a table was set up to collect more signatures. Feedback from the public was generally very positive with many sincere expressions of support. Many young Spanish people also conveyed deep concern about the current political situation. From 6 o’clock candles were lit and a vigil commenced.

At 8pm the demonstration moved to the Spanish Embassy in Ballsbridge where flags and banners were displayed and the fast continued. Seven people participated in the fast itself and were supported by others who visited throughout the night. In the morning there were many gestures of support from inside passing cars and buses, as well as from pedestrian traffic. From mid-day, extra supporters came along to witness the final stages of the fast and to round off a successful series of events.

In total, 3,000 leaflets were distributed and hundreds of signatures collected.

Side Of The Bank
Side Of The Bank

Front Of the Bank
Front Of the Bank


Participants Of The Fast. 2pm Sunday
Participants Of The Fast. 2pm Sunday

author by KJ - Irish Basque Committeespublication date Mon Feb 19, 2007 02:18Report this post to the editors

More Pics...

The Txalaparta Being Played At The GPO
The Txalaparta Being Played At The GPO

Start Of Protest Fast
Start Of Protest Fast

Signing For Dialogue
Signing For Dialogue

Irish, Basque and Catalan Protesters
Irish, Basque and Catalan Protesters

Signitures Continue Into The Evening
Signitures Continue Into The Evening

author by KJ - Irish Basque Committeespublication date Mon Feb 19, 2007 02:53Report this post to the editors

More Pics

Setting Up At The Spanish Embassy
Setting Up At The Spanish Embassy

Midnight At The Embassy
Midnight At The Embassy

Embassy Wall
Embassy Wall

Early Morning In Ballsbridge
Early Morning In Ballsbridge

author by Bobbypublication date Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:40Report this post to the editors

Well done to all concerned. Everybody who claims to give a damn about justice & democracy needs to do something about the plight of this man. We in Ireland have a long tradition of hunger-strikes and have a responsibility to assist those in similar circumstances

author by RKpublication date Mon Feb 19, 2007 13:52Report this post to the editors

The same 'dialogue' that this sc*m used when bombing people going home for new year at Madrid airport. Brave lads, real brave.

The lunatic fringe have taken over what was already a doomed cause

author by blahpublication date Mon Feb 19, 2007 14:27Report this post to the editors

What's your position on the murders of Diego Estacio Civizapa & Carlos Alonso Palate who were in Spain trying to support their family back home in Ecuador. Unfortunately, they were slaughtered and only wooden boxes were sent home.

Of course, Dublin City Centre is a long long way from Ecuador

author by Nice onepublication date Mon Feb 19, 2007 16:56Report this post to the editors

Good turnout. I hope the word gets to him that he has support from Ireland

author by Me Myselfpublication date Mon Feb 19, 2007 19:35Report this post to the editors

Remember that the Spanish State are very much participants in the violence of the conflict, not just ETA. Common sense should tell you that the two Ecuadorian men were not targets. Their deaths were a tragedy. The decision by the Spanish government to respond to ETA’s ceasefire with aggression rendered some form of violent resistance inevitable though. They have prioritised trying to crush the Basque pro-independence movement instead of engaging in the peace process in any meaningful way. That is the road they chose to go down. Ultimate responsibility for the situation lies at the feet of the Spanish State. An occupation is an act of violence in itself. Add to this prison brutality, banning of political parties, repression of youth organisations and the continued denial of self-determination for the Basque Country and you get a recipe for disaster. Inaki De Juana Chaos is in prison for writing two newspaper articles. It is a freedom of speech and a human rights issue. If the Spanish State has any desire to continue the façade that they hold democracy and justice as guiding principals, they should free him now.

author by common sensepublication date Mon Feb 19, 2007 21:51Report this post to the editors

Some people like to think after putting a van filled with explosives in a car-park it is sensible to make three phone-calls to a newspaper, a tv station and state.
Some people like to think after being so sensible they bear no responsibility for the consequences.
Some peope like to think it's all a game - they hijack a van - kidnap its driver - load it with explosives - drive into an airport carpark - to show how serious they are - & they're still on ceasefire - their permanent one - & then all the kings horses and all the kings men left - deposited - coherced & manipulated - two migrant workers to not leave their cars -
obviously their fault.
why can't the firemen move all the financial strategic damage to find the collateral damage before its two crushed bodies suffocate in the dust?
wait a while.
longer than usual.
Batasuna sent solidarity messages to Ecuador.
Arnaldo asks ETA to stick to its ceasefire "as stated on March 22nd".
wait a while.
ETA make a statement. not their fault. gave Madrid a phonecall. went through the whole phone book. spent a fortune. felt so jilted. yep they did it. - But it didn't happen the common sense way. Of course they're still on ceasefire "which came into operation on the 24th of March". they still want peace but the Spanish have messed it all up. Obviously not the Ecuadorians. Nothing to do with them. Not saying Sorry, it's just you concentrate on other things when you're sensible to a bloody point. they'll bomb you again. But it won't hurt.
oh yeah.

I'm so fucking glad I don't have that type of common sense.

author by Diarmuidpublication date Tue Feb 20, 2007 17:49Report this post to the editors

Some of the comments on this protest are missing the point quite widely. As stated in articles published, Inaki de Juanas Chaos HAS SERVED HIS TIME FOR THE ACTIONS FOR WHICH HE WAS CONVICTED. HE WAS THEN SENTENCED TO AN ADDITIONAL 12 YEARS FOR WRITING TWO ARTICLES OF OPINION. The first case against him was thrown out by the judge and Spanish government ministers interfered in the judicial process to bring the case back to court. Also, the newspaper that printed the article was never charged in this regard -- what does that tell you? The rights and wrongs of this issue stand quite separately from anyone's opinions on ETA, the Spanish Government, Terrorism (however defined), the Basque/ Spanish question, etc. Quite simply, to defend what has been done to this man is to defend state intervention in judicial process, arbitrary convictions and torture (force-feeding).
On a related issue, it should be of concern that the families of Basque political prisoners are being vindictively penalised by the Spanish Government in contravention of generally-accepted principles of control, rehabilitation of prisoners and social provision for families of prisoners. Again, this should not be influenced by whatever you, I or anyone else thinks about the rights and wrongs of the struggle, how it is being waged, or who is waging it.
Going on to the concerns that have been raised in relation to the Basque military struggle, however, surely an oppressed nation has the right to resist? We may not always agree with specific actions or methods chosen (e.g. with the ANC putting rubber tyres around informers' necks and setting fire to them -- but then South Africa was a 'cool' cause with broad liberal support!) but that does not take away their right to resist. It's worth remembering also where the military struggle of the Basques in modern times began: with Franco's fascist armed overthrow of a democratically-elected government, supported by Nazi and Fascist troops from Germany and Italy, and ensuing military and cultural oppression.

author by readerpublication date Tue Feb 20, 2007 19:13Report this post to the editors

whether a convicted killer and assassin of 25 figures in the Spanish state did or did not threaten to do same against a number of individuals including the warden of the prison he started his hungerstrike in.
Of course his tsentance reduction to 3 years - is not being trumpeted much by you. Was that "state inteference" or not? If - his case has nothing to do with the ETA campaign then why in his Times interview did he think to call for peace? Wasn't that because most people interpreted his "two opinion articles" as a call for war? Isn't it the case Diarmuid that if you wrote a few articles expressing your opinion on this and that - it would be different? Why? Because you're not a leading figure in a terrorist organisation are you? And as for "serving all his first sentance" is that not a selective case of ignoring changes to the law & attempting to apply them a-priori?

Can't you think of better ways to support Basque self-determination than covering a return to war complete with its accompanying million euro industry of protection rackets and arms trading? Or are just a dupe?

But before you explain more - show us what he wrote.

author by Jonpublication date Tue Feb 20, 2007 22:45Report this post to the editors

The Shield

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 mistrust.

"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 reason?

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 Spain.

Related Link:
author by 104publication date Tue Feb 20, 2007 23:31Report this post to the editors

here's the interview which was published in the English Times.

If his demands are met - those which you are campaigning for - and he is released and no longer kept to serve any more sentance - he will go from being kept alive against his will to being kept alive with his wish. Either way he will remain on that bed and his future life will be owed to two decisions - his decision to go on hunger strike and that of the court to order his force-feeding.

Others have noted that he refused medical intervention without supporting his cause and a decision to go against his will was an abuse of human rights but also raised the right to die with dignity. The two (possibly 3) are seperate political issues. Human Rights only comes into the fact that every day his banner is raised in Ireland or elsewhere - he is alive because he's being force-fed. If this is not the case - he dies immediately and would have been dead before his last interview in English. His campaign wins - he may live and die a basque ex-prisoner. His campaign fails - he will be kept alive till his sentance is served and die an basque ex-prisoner.
Either way someday his supporters will bury him the same way.

just one thing remains - are ETA at war or peace - or is that still irrelevant - may that question be better answered on another thread some other day? Will there be a different banner?

author by iker - Askapenapublication date Wed Feb 21, 2007 09:19Report this post to the editors

well i have n't got a very good english (and no gaelic), but i hope it will be enough to thak you all the irish peopple who support the basque people, our democratic rights and our right to live in peace.

we are sure iñaki knows all the support you are sendind to him, and also the basque people know the support from irish people, scottish, people from wales, from Occitania, Korsik, Bretagne, Catalunya, Galiza, Italy, Portugal...

Thank you all!

Let's build the peoples's europe!

Related Link:
author by Diarmuidpublication date Thu Feb 22, 2007 15:08Report this post to the editors

Please excuse me for refusing to answer insults, inaccurate or irrelevant comments or, while discussing the matter in hand, to be drawn into tangenital questions to those I put forward.

Hostile commentators have however made three points that are worth answering (and which I didn't not cover in my original contribution in order to keep it brief):
1. that Inaki de Juanas Chaos had his sentence reduced from 12 to 3 years;
2. that actions taken by the State followed on from recent changes in the law;
3. that this prisoner's life expectancy will not be affected by whether he is released or not

1. True. A Prosecution request for a sentence in excess of 90 years for writing those two articles resulted in a sentence in excess of 12 years, which was then reduced by 75% on appeal. However, HE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN SENTENCED IN THE FIRST PLACE ON THE BASIS OF THOSE ARTICLES OF OPINION. And what does the original sentence (sorry, after the original acquital!) tell you about the impartiality of the judiciary in Spain towards Basque political prisoners?

2. Not true. The sentence of 12 years (reduced to 3 recently) owes nothing to any recent changes in the Spanish law. Nor does Inaki's continued incarceration after he finished serving his sentence owe anything to changes in the law, which were not applicable to him at that time. However, the Spanish state did change the prison sentence-serving regime to cut out totally all access to remission for all Basque political prisoners -- a sentence-serving regime unequalled in Europe and a further exposure of the vindictiveness of the Spanish state towards Basque political prisoners. Since there were many Basque political prisoners to whom this new sentence-serving regime could not be applied, due to the fact that not even the Spanish government dared apply it retrospectively to people tried and sentenced before the law was changed, they introduced the measure that ONLY THOSE REPENTING THEIR ACTS COULD ACCESS REMISSION ON SENTENCES. That was a neat way of ensuring that de facto, no self-respecting Basque political prisoner could access remission. However, that too was brought into force after the date at which de Juanas Chaos should have been released.

3. Not true. The prisoner's health and life are endangered because he is on hunger-strike. However, he's on hunger-strike as probably the only weapon he has against the manifestly unfair and arbitrary way in which he has been victimised. He is being maintained alive by force-feeding, but that in turn is insufficient to keep him in health or indeed in certain life (testified by Spanish medical experts and by his huge weight loss). Also, the invasiveness of force-feeding is in itself a threat to the body's system (a number of people, including two Irish Republican prisoners in the 1970s, have actually been killed by force-feeding). In addition, the practice has been categorised by leading authorities as torture. If the sentence is lifted and he is released, he will abandon the hunger strike, his health will recover as much as it can, and his life will be saved.

Diarmuid, Dublin.

author by yawnpublication date Thu Feb 22, 2007 19:19Report this post to the editors

but there would still be a place for you in the Human Rights game.

Article 5 of the 1975 World Medical Association Tokyo Declaration states that doctors must not undertake force-feeding under any circumstances: "Where a prisoner refuses nourishment and is considered by the physician as capable of forming an unimpaired and rational judgment concerning the consequences of such a voluntary refusal of nourishment, he or she shall not be fed artificially. The decision as to the capacity of the prisoner to form such a judgment should be confirmed by at least one other independent physician. The consequences of the refusal of nourishment shall be explained by the physician to the prisoner." The World Medical Association recently revised and updated its Declaration of Malta on Hunger Strikers (see: Among many changes, it unambiguously states that force feeding is a form of inhuman and degrading treatment in its Article 21.

However, de Juana Chaos is being kept alive by those very intrusive & degrading methods - if he is released tomorrow - he won't be even by in condition to drink a glass of milk. He will only stay alive by continuing on that drip. As for his chances of survival :- well that depends on whether invasive medical treatment which is an abuse of his human rights has saved him from Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.

If it has - he may make a full recovery. If it hasn't he has by his own actions developed an incurable condition. No-one made him write those articles - no-one made him kill 25 people. No-one set him up as judge, jury and executioner. did they? Oh I suppose the same forces that brought him to be a policeman after Franco made him be an assassin for ETA. Either way I don't like cops & I don't like assassins.

author by curiouspublication date Thu Feb 22, 2007 19:40Report this post to the editors

IU welcomed the reduced sentence as being appropriate to the crime.

José Ignacio de Juana Chaos, better known as Iñaki de Juana Chaos (born 1955 in Legazpia / Guipuscoa) is an imprisoned Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) member convicted of killing 25 people., who, as of today has undergone a 106 day hunger strike to protest what he feels to be unlawful imprisonment by the Spanish government.
De Juana was originally convicted in 1987 for the murder of twenty-five people and sentenced to 3,000 years in prison. He was "released" in 2004, however, as a result of complicated sentencing guidelines. After he was released, however, the government immediately charged him with making terrorist threats and he has been in prison ever since.

some background so readers can put it all together. (the "opinion pieces" he wrote from prison are reproduced in their entirety up the page)

His father, Daniel de Juana Rubio, from Miranda de Ebro (Burgos province) around 1908, was a doctor who was decorated several times for his work as a lieutenant in the Franco side of the Spanish Civil War. His mother, Esperanza Chaos Lloret, was born around 1924 in Tetuán, Spanish Morocco, the daughter of a Spanish military officer. After marrying Esperanza, Dr de Juana, a Falangist, worked as a doctor for the Patricio Echevarría steelworks of Legazpia. Young Ignacio played football with the sons of the Guardia Civil military policemen from the nearby barracks-residence. He studied to be a paramedic. He later did military service in Alcalá de Henares in 1977, where his work against a five-days fire in Madrid was acknowledged.
He joined the second promotion of the Basque police. In 1983, Iñaki left his work and went clandestine into France. Ignacio's sister, Altamira de Juana, married the son of a military officer, killed by ETA gunmen in 1977. His mother has since died during the appeal process which saw his last sentance reduced.

n 1986, De Juana was the leader of the "Madrid Commando", an team attacking targets in the Madrid area. According to Juan Manuel Soares Gamboa, a former ETA member who has collaborated with the Spanish authorities, it was de Juana who chose victims and who among the commando members would shoot.

* In 9 September 1985 a car bomb exploded in plaza de la República Argentina against a Guardia Civil van. No agentes were dead, but Eugene Kent Brown, an American passer-by died from the shock wave.
* 17 June 1986, the car of Commander Ricardo Sáenz de Ynestrillas was machine-gunned resulting in the death of the commander, a lieutenant colonel and a soldier.
* He has confessed taking part in the attack against a Guardia Civil convoy, setting up a car bomb in Plaza de la República Dominicana (14 July 1986) that killed 12 policemen in training and wounded another 45 people.

The Madrid commando was arrested on 16 January 1987 and convicted by the Spanish tribunals for murder, terrorism, and crimes committed against the Guardia Civil. He was tried under the Spanish Penal Code of 1973, however, which states that the maximum prison sentence for terrorism-related charges is thirty years in prison. While in prison he has sent letters celebrating further ETA attacks. The Spanish justice system also has a policy called remission, which states that time can be deducted from a prisoner's sentence for exhibiting good behaviour and other factors. As de Juana could only legally serve thirty years in prison with his earned remission being subtracted from the sentence, he should have been released on 25 October 2004. Once his prison term was set to expire, the judiciary charged him again with making terrorist threats, and de Juana remained in prison.

August 7th 2006 , de Juana began a sixty-three day hunger strike, stopping when the Spanish government under Zapatero began to consider releasing him. The hunger strike was not supported by the ETA leadership, who had not been consulted by De Juana. ETA and its supporting movement were then engaged in a ceasefire conducting to negotiation with the Spanish government. Gara took eleven days before informing of the hunger strike.

On 6 October he was transferred from a Cádiz hospital to a Madrid hospital. During the sixty three days, the Spanish government intervened by tying him to a bed and force-feeding him through a nasogastric tube. The sixty-three days reflects the time where he refused to ingest food willingly.

After the Audiencia Nacional (7 November) sentenced him to twelve years and seven months for his Gara letter "terrorist threats" in lieu of releasing him, he resumed his hunger strike. The "opinion pieces are republished above - only Batasuna and EHAK do not consider these articles to have been terrorist threats.

Cadena SER informed of an anonymous letter sent by an ETA prisoner criticising De Juana for disrupting the process with his "vanity".

On 12 February, the Supreme Court of Spain reduced his sentence to three years for threats (not declared as terrorrist threats). As of 13 February 2007, de Juana is under police surveillance at Doce de Octubre, a hospital in Madrid, where he is being force-fed.

On 21 February the Spanish interior ministry confirmed that photographs of de Juana Chaos published in "The Times" under the heading "emaciated and shackled ETA killer in deathbed plea for peace" had been taken by his own lawyers.

Which is a more important relationship to SF? That with "united left" IU (pacifist green and post marxist) or the illegal formation Batasuna ?

author by iosafpublication date Fri Feb 23, 2007 00:36Report this post to the editors

I don't think there's a need to split the feedback / comments / criticism / links / background
over different threads. some comments have been left here

But there is obviously different takes on what Inaki (or what Inaki's case) has done or caused in the last months and how his case went to the centre of the "abertzale" agenda just as the peace process collapsed & how he went from being not mentioned to cited on the incredibly difficult to read ETA statement claiming Barajas and claiming the process was still on.

For what it is worth - the AVT who are the largest victim of terrorism association in Spain have organised a march calling for Inaki to serve every day of his latest sentence and rejecting the last decision of the supreme to overturn the earlier sentence. (which I believe was totally excessive) they were lobbying for the sentence to be increased. the AVT are for readers who don't know - a very right wing org. The PP have agreed to join in the march. This means the PP are publically criticising the judiciary (which Aznar weighted) for their "independence" now (once they don't like the result) when they campaigned for its "independence" before (when most thought it was biased). It is thus worth noting that in the official opinion polls (not the unreliable shite from el Mundo, el Pais or TV5) the gap between Rajoy of the PP and Zapatero of PSOE is the smallest it has been since march 14th 2004. I imagine this has more to do with the M11 trial. [The sooner that wraps up the better] but at the moment the great spanish public list their priorities as 1) terrorism 2) immigration 3) climate 4) housing. It has only taken them 4 months to relegate "housing" - which is when you think about it - exactly what should be number one. As for political representation in the Basque - the Spanish congress rejected the PP's motion to illegalise the "communist party of the basque territories" which has since the last elections 2004 acted as a token reminder of the illegalised Batasuna (voting the way it would have done) & though abstention rose is credited with taking the B/HB votes. c/f "how the basques voted and not voted" - )
The only political leader whose standing has improved in Spain strangely as it seems is Gaspar Llamazares. Perhaps this is because Afghanistan withdrawl is on the European mainland members of NATO table (c/f Prodi's resignation yesterday and new gov today) it may also be how he dealt with the Barajas bombing - who knows? It may be how his regional baron ministers are behaving. (unpleasantly)
I'm leaving these news updates on the Spanish state here on this thread - because it is very important to remember what the objective of "Euskal Herria" means & how achieving it is so tied to the future of Spanish state politics and society. Just as the woes and problems of those "governing" the UK had their affect on Ireland's "resolution of conflict issues" since mister Gladstone. But the Brits got around that "democratic seesaw" in more recent times - and under Blair saw no opposition in either Judiciary, Legislature or even seriously Media to his Irish policies. The Spanish are divided. I reckon the basques want the "pro-peace" side to become dominant. [The sooner the M11 trial wraps up the better - no-one ought forget what M11 caused. Especially in Ireland. I'd suggest looking at our archives the photos of March 12th published on March 13th solidarity gathering with the taoiseach in attendance - to see how many people from Spain and its state oppose Eta.]

Inaki is described as a "political prisoner" - his acts against Spanish state employees as freedom fighting by those who campaign for him. Yet not all his victims were Spanish state employees or like the soldiers he grew amongst. It is thus only natural some people consider him a terrorist without owing their primary loyalty to Spain. It is even possible for others to suspect his whole career, role, good behaviour in prison, confession and thus remission, as much as background. But we can leave them on the "conspiracy fringe". I can think of no IRA figure who had a comparative family or formative background "growing up in the enemy camp" ... perhaps Rose Dugdale - only perhaps.... in only small parts ( very stylish evasion she had & all from under the noses of the branch in SCR years later no? which is why she pops to mind ) But that said his personal psychology has played a huge role in all of this. & I'm sure his mother's death did too - & thus the light in which his letters to Gara were written or his interview to The Times given....
Yet Gara published them, wasn't that an odd decision to make or not? ah! we need more background.

I've a very long list of anarchist (&/or) Catalan prisoners who don't often get that status or provoke as much passion. Nuria Portulas is an example who is being held on the application of anti-terror laws created for ETA & has been charged this month with possession of explosives & membership of an armed group. ( c/f )
so to sum up as I leave this very interesting if conflictive thread - with some reports

- the Kale Borraka has gone down
- arson attacks are not bleeping on the radar now - instead very creative pro-peace and inaki solidarity protests by young people dressed up and behaving like a bunch of friendly anarcho-okupas
- the support in Ireland is appreciated by the abertzales.
- the strategy of pushing the right further and further to the right & thus to discredit "so that their near decade filling of all side aspects of the state's apparatus may be corrected" is working to a point - this naturally means eroding the centre support for PSOE or PNV (done) but - big but - the winners of this swings such as "the post radical" ICV-EaU in Catalonia (related to Gaspar) are proving better at repression than the right are remembered as being. They've got all these new laws and figure they can use them.
On bcn indymedia at least in the "criminalisation" section there are consistent calls for consolidation of all political prisoner campaigns combined with calls for a Peace process. I wrote long ago - that Inaki is not Bobby Sands. That was & is my opinion. No matter what "the times" or "el mundo" or his "supporters" say. The very fact they concur in the comparison is enough to disprove it. If only because bobby Sands was a young man in his prime a lifetime away from any hope of any process. But there are similarities... The Long Kesh strikers were initially opposed by both SF and the IRA outside the camp to become central to the martyrdom of the Republic to in most recent times see the families themselves eschew SF. Stuff like that - the future tells.

Argue on ! ................................
practice makes perfect - for the "dialogue" which "peace" means. The process by which all those words get capital letters and stationery attached. You can do that in this cyber-space.

author by transferredpublication date Thu Mar 01, 2007 18:23Report this post to the editors

The Spanish minister of the Interior made the order today. He arrived at the hospital Donasti in San Sebastian at 16h00 local time. In the last week he had removed the nasal tube to protest the 6 police who were present in room 110 of th2 October 12th hospital preventing his girlfriend from sleeping in the same bed as him. She has been allowed sleep in the same room for some time now. He further protested by sleeping on the floor for two nights. He has gout and is close to coma but obviously as defiant as ever. He has now completed half of his adjusted sentence.

author by strike overpublication date Thu Mar 01, 2007 23:31Report this post to the editors

the source of this information is Juan Mari Olano of the ilegalised basque prisoner support group Askatasuna and has been reported in the last minutes by Reuters.

Members of AVT and "foro Ermeu" have blockaded traffic in Madrid to protest the government's move calling both prime minister Zapatero and interior minister Rubalcaba traitors and terrorists.
The interior minister justified the decision based on the regime's respect for life.

It is thus an idea to provide people who care about this sort of thing with this fact - the PP moved 10 ETA prisoners to "open prison" / "house arrest" during the period 1997 - 1999 which precluded and post-dated the 1998 ceasefire. It is also customary in the Spanish state that most inmates in palliative care be released or as close to as is practically possible. As anyone who watches this case will have realised - there are 2 reactionary forces to be kept in check - those who support IdJC and would be expected to avenge his death in custody those who oppose any peace process who are without doubt also set on a course of subversion.

Some of you might be surprised that I. d.J.C. has shared a room with his girlfriend for quite some time now. Certainly Bobby Sands did not enjoy such a privilege. Or is it really a privilege? Or is it simply a reminder that both British and Irish penal regimes are amongst the most retributive in the E.U.? something which so many Irish and British people seem to take for granted is the case in other states.

In any case there will now be demonstrations both for and against. But life goes on.

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