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Statement given by GORKA LUPIAÑEZ MINTEGI.
Gorka Lupiañez is a Basque young who was arrested under incommunicado for the Guardia Civil. After 5 days in the police station, he was sent to prison under incommunicado detention for another 8 days. After 13 days, the family and lawyer could visit him... here it is his torture statement. The Spanish democracy.
Statement given by GORKA LUPIAÑEZ MINTEGI.
At Soto del Real prison, on 19.12.07
Completed with information from the interview held, in the same prison, on 17.02.07
- I was arrested on December 6 at about 18.00 or 18.30. I was walking on the road, close to Berriz, and two Guardia Civil Nissan Patrol vehicles stopped. They asked me for my ID and, after checking it for about an hour, and after checking the contents of the bag I was carrying, they arrested me.
- They flung me on the ground, they pulled my trousers off, leaving on the leggings I was wearing underneath. They tied my hands behind my back. They kicked me, many times. One kept telling the others to release me, so that I could attempt to run away and they could get a two-to-one score, referring to the events at Capbreton. In the end, they put me in the Nissan Patrol, they put my face stuck up against the window and put their Cetme machine gun to my other temple. They drove me, according to what they said, to La Salve barracks, in Bilbao. They forbade me to open my eyes.
- In La Salve they ran me off the vehicle and into a room. They put a hood over my head, down to my top lip, more or less, and I was able to see a little and hear the voices of the people there. There were four people, two in plain clothes and two in uniform. They beat me up. They hit me in the testicles, a lot. They began asking questions about lots of things, wanting me to give names. Amidst the constant shouting and blows, one of them cocked a gun and put it to my head. They took me to another room and told me that I was being held incommunicado.
- They ran me out of the room and into a car. After about three hours we left for Madrid. They said it. They said that there, in Madrid, I would really find out what was what. There were two of them in the front and one either side of me in the car. The one on my left kept screaming at me and hitting me with the palm of his hand. The one on my right put a plastic bag over my head. Every so often, he would close it putting his hands round my neck and causing me to suffocate.
- They stopped the car at one of tolls, because one of them, who had been celebrating Spanish Constitution Day, had been drinking and was drunk and he needed to urinate. That Guardia Civil told me that nobody knew I had been arrested and that he could easily shoot me. He said that their only remit was to torture and interrogate, that they had four-month tours of duty and that was why he had to be in the Basque Country, although he did not like it. The blows and the bag over my head continued all the way to Madrid. When we arrived, they said we were in the General Directorate or something like that.
- As soon as they took me into the building, they took me to a room, they stripped me naked and they put a blindfold over my eyes, which was kept on until I was taken to the court. They ordered me to do stand-ups. They pricked me three times in the neck, on my spine, and between my shoulder blades, or slightly further up. The third jab caused a very intense pain to go right down my spine. I told the woman who said she was the Forensic Doctor about this and she said I had some red dots in that area. I don’t know what she wrote in her reports. They also touched me with something that felt like paper. They said all that was in order to calculate how to use the electrodes on me.
- Going on what the Forensic Doctor told me about the time when she first visited me, I think I can say she visited me every day. The first time she said it was one o’clock on Friday. By then I thought I had already been under arrest for days.
- In one day and a half they had made me do thousands of stand-ups. At the same time they would hit me on the sides and top of my head, with an object that could be a phone directory or a truncheon made out of rubber. When they hit me with that “phone directory”, I saw sort of lights. They put a bag over my head and stuck something like tobacco smoke into it. They would close the bag to cause me to suffocate.
- Interrogation sessions were constant. I hardly spent any time in the cell during the time I was in there, except for a few hours on the last day. They constantly asked questions. The interrogators would get tired and, every so often, maybe every hour, they were substituted by others. I could tell them apart by their voices. They said that they changed round every hour. Normally there were four of them in each shift, going by the voices.
- There were times when I would answer their questions with incoherent stuff, and I couldn’t reason or finish my sentences. I think it was because of the lack of air. When I was really going off my head, they would let me rest a little.
- They would put a folded blanket over my body and punch me through that.
- After what I think was one day and a half since my arrest, they began to do the bath torture to me in addition to the things they had already been doing. They tied me to a foam mattress and they put my head inside freezing water.
- Then they began to do what they called “the aquapark”. They said the Israelis had taught them this. The “aquapark” was this: they lay me on a mattress, they held my feet, arms and head and poured water in my mouth and nose with a hose. When I couldn’t resist any more, I had to try to breathe. At that point, they threw a bucket of water onto my face, and I would drown. At some point when they were doing this to me I must have scratched someone as I resisted. From that point on they taped my feet and they put some kind of protection on my wrists and taped them tight too.
- I was naked; they would make me hold my arms out to my sides. Then they would throw buckets of very cold water over me. Since I was shivering, they said I was “the nervous angel”.
- More or less halfway through the third day, in between the “aquapark” and the “nervous angel”, they made me go on all fours and tried to put a stick up my arse. Since they didn’t manage to do it, they lat me on the floor, face up, they lifted my legs and then put the stick up my arse.
- At one point they tied me to a mattress, they put a wire round my left toe, and another one round my right hand, held with tape. I could hear the sound of electric current, but I didn’t feel anything.
- The Doctor came to see me every day, but when she asked about how I felt and how I was being treated, I said nothing. I was afraid of what might happen. I told her I would tell her at the Audiencia Nacional. She told me to get some sleep, but I told her they didn’t let me sleep. When I was going to be taken to the doctor, they would dress me in leggings and a T-shirt. They would take me to the door of a room, remove the blindfold and look into my eyes, apparently because I’d spent a long time with my eyes covered. When I came out of the room, they put the blindfold back on and strip me. They asked what I’d told the doctor as they beat me with a truncheon.
- During the days I was under arrest, they did more than 50 sessions with the bag per day. I did upwards of 10,000 stand-ups. They did the bath torture to me twice. They did the torture with the water hose many times. The simulation of electric shocks was done twice. Countless blows, with and without the truncheon.
- Since I was refusing to eat, at one point they forced a sobado sponge cake into my mouth. They poured cocoa on the floor and made me lick it.
- They pulled my hair a lot, the hair on my head and my pubic hair. They pulled out a lot of hair on the left side of my head.
- Interrogation was permanent and the shouting constant. They said they would go against my father. They said my mother had died of a heart attack. They said my brother and his wife were under arrest. They also said they had raped my nephew –the son of my brother and his wife- with a stick.
- I made three statements to the Guardia Civil. They were all prepared beforehand. They said not to worry, if I forgot anything, the officer taking the statement would remind me about it. And he did so at every statement. He told me what I was forgetting, the bits I had not said from what we had rehearsed. They told me I would have a lawyer, but I was not allowed to see him. I don’t know if there was a lawyer present during the statements. I think I made the statements on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. It was night every time, and they said what time it was at the beginning.
- When the third statement was over, they took me to the cell and they told me they were going to let me rest. Shortly after, less than fifteen minutes later, they took me again, to a room where there was someone who had not taken part in the previous interrogation sessions. I could tell from his voice. He told me that he had a role. His role was to get some information out of me, something I had not previously said. He started slapping me on the face, on both sides, and he caused many cuts on the inside of my mouth. He tied my testicles and penis with a string and began to pull. He also pulled with his hand. At one point I started bleeding from the penis.
- I told the Forensic Doctor about this and she made a note. I told her my testicles had gone purple, bruised, and she saw this. All this was shortly before going to the Audiencia. The officer in charge of the statements told me that I was to tell the judge the same things as I had said in the police statements; otherwise I would really get it. They cleaned me up, especially my head, and they clothed me, to go in front of the judge.
- When I arrived at the Audiencia Nacional they gave me a court-appointed lawyer. I refused to make a statement to the judge and I told him how I had been mistreated.
- When they took me to the prison, I told the prison doctor that I had injuries inside my mouth. He said I was fine. I asked how he could say that without even having a look. He replied I was fine and he was not going to have a look at anything. I don’t know what he has put in his report, but he didn’t check me at all.
Notes.- While Gorka Lupiañez was under incommunicado detention, on December 12, a request was made to the Court for blood and urine samples to be taken from him and tested within 24 hours. Since the proceedings are secret, at this point in time we do not know whether the request was acted upon or not. Gorka has stated that none of these tests were carried out.
He was held incommunicado in the prison until Friday, December 14.
He intends to file a complaint about these events to the court.