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Parents et amis de prisonniers et rĂŠfugiĂŠs politiques basques

monthly report

f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 3


february Few changes have occurred this February regarding the status of the repressed Basques or for us, their families and friends. And that's not good news. There are still 603 Basque political prisoners scattered across 83 prisons, of whom 582 are outside the Basque Country. We suffer stress, harassment, and arbitrary violation of rights. Sometimes repression seeks us directly to persecute us, as with the new examples of harassment contained in this February report: while spending the night at a hotel, hoping to visit a prisoner the following day, police raided the room where the relatives of a female Basque prisoner were staying, including an 11 year-old boy. At other times, we suffer as a direct result of the prison special policy: the dispersal has already caused the first traffic accident of this year 2013.

603

In prisons or in the distance of exile and deportation, our relatives are still subjected to harsh living conditions. Poor medical medical treatment, isolation, problems with visits and communications, searches, tension ... constitute their daily reality, to which must be added equally active special measures: three new life sentences have fallen this month on Basque prisoners.

Especially in this report we have chosen the theme of life sentences, as we are approaching the date of March 20th, the day on which the European Court of Human Rights will begin their examination of the Spanish state's view on the case of Ines del Rio. Undoubtedly, this date will mark a before and after for all those who suffer from the special prison policy and the final decision will directly affect us all. How could it be otherwise then but that the subject of this month's report is the Decree 197/2006. The lawyer Amaia Izko answers many of the questions we have about the ac-

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tion brought by the Spanish state and its implications. (i.e. the Spanish state's appeal against the verdict of the Strasbourg Court last July that Ines Del Rio should have been released already as the new decree could not be applied rectroactively against prisoners convicted before the decree was issued and also that no prisoner could have an indefinite sentence, as a result of which the Spanish state should release Ines Del Rio, pay her compensation and pay the costs of the case -- Translator). Finally, we cannot omit to mention the 12th National Conference which we, the relatives of prisoners, exiled and deported, held on the 17th February. This annual date of our Association is a great opportunity to work in unity and collectively, for in the end we all work with a common objective:

Etxean nahi ditugu!

(Euskera for “We want them home!”-- Translator)

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dispersed 603 basque political prisoners, through 83 prisons 439 Basque political prisoners dispersed through 45 prisons of spanish state 134 Basque prisoners dispersed through 32 prisons of french state 10 Basque prisoners dispersed through 3 prisons of the Basque Country 4 Basque prisoners in Englanbd 1 Basque prisoner in Northern Ireland 1 Basque prisoner in Scotland 1 Basque prisoner in Portugal 1 Basque prisoner en Brazil 1 Basque prisoner on house arrest in Roma 11 Basque prisoners on parole due to serious and incurable illnesses 1 Basque prisoner in internal exile, confined by French authorities to Autun

87 prisoners

in jails between 1.000 and 1.100 km from Euskal Herria (the Basque Country)

161 prisoners

in jails between 800 and 1.000 km from Euskal Herria

136 prisoners

in jails between 600 and 800 km from Euskal Herria

101 prisonerss

in jails between 400 and 600 km from Euskal Herria

88 prisoners

in jails at least 400 km from Euskal Herria

one Basque prisoner confined at least 900 km from Euskal Herria 8 Basque prisoners jailed in another 5 countries.

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gravely ill Another month has passed without us being able to give positive news about health nor about the situation of the thirteen prisoners suffering from serious and incurable illnesses. They continue in jail and subject to regimented rules and conditions which would be difficult enough to bear when the circumstances are normal in the prisons without health problems; unjustifiable when their aggressive effect make not only a cure difficult but rather can be the cause of their worsening. The long years endured in prison have a direct impact on health. The lack of dignified living conditions, difficulties in getting exercise, poor diet, stress, confined spaces .... all impact negatively on health. Medical assistance is not a priority issue for those in prison management authority and any related medical care, consultations with a specialist, progress checks, treatments ... all these encounter obstacles to be resolved and lengthen the time fthereby favoring development of the Illness. In prison in Villena, female prisoners await the resolution of a formal complaint filed in order to be seen by a gynecologist of the prisoners' choice.

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With regard to the seriously-ill prisoners, their liberty is essential in order to be able to receive not only the medical treatment which they need but to receive it in the necessary environment.

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special measures decree 197/2006 release on parole

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The application of Decree 197/2006 by the Supreme Court, reported during the month of February, to Aldasoro Ramon, Raul Alonso and Gonzalo Iñaki, brings up to 93 the number of Basque political prisoners to which life sentences have been applied. Of these, 71 are in prison, another 22 have been released: some of these judgements were suspended by the High Court (in the case of Jesus and Iñaki Bollada Pujana, released during this month) and others have already served the extensions of their sentences.

Ramon Aldasoro, from Otxandio, is in the Castelló II- Albocasser prison; he was jailed in 1997, so he has been in jail for 16 years. He had been given the release date of 27th October 2017 but the application of Decree 197/2006 extends his sentence to 2027. Raul Alonso, from Bilbo, also in the Castello II-Albocasser jail, was jailed in 1991. He had the release date of 25th March 2015; his actual date of release will be 2021. Iñaki Gonzalo Casal, from Getxo, who is in the Valladolid jail, was jailed in 1994 and has been 19 years in jail. His release date had been fixed for the 4th of May of 2013. They have informed him that the Decree will be applied to him but have not given him the new date of release. In the French state, Jakes Esnal, Frederik Haranburu and Jon Kepa Parot and are also sentenced to life (perpétuite); they are nearing 24 years in prison even though they have met all the requirements for parole five years ago. On March 20, the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg will examine the appeal brought by the Spanish state against the Court's decision in the case of Ines del Rio. The new decision will mark a “before and after” point in our lives. The application of the 197/2006 Decree is a cruel measure and as already made clear by Strasbourg is a clear violation of human rights for prisoners. This measure as well as entailing imprisonment for life for Basque political prisoners also means that family and friends have to suffer a lifetime of the consequences of a special prison policy. The systematic denial of parole is another of the special measures taken against

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130

Basque political prisoners. There are currently 130 which, in terms of legal time limits, are eligible for probation. In line with this issue, on January 23rd, the Court for the application of the sentence (in the French State) accepted the probation application of Perurena Argi, who has already served 13 years in prison. The Public Prosecutor appealed the court's decision so that the Basque political prisoner remains incarcerated. The verdict will be delayed probably until March.

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inviolation theofprisons rights other incidents Solitary confinement or the isolation of all comrades, impeding all contact between them, is one of the special regimes to which Basque political prisoners are subjected. Although within the legislation and normal practice of the prisons, isolation is a measure to be employed in very specific situations and for restricted time periods, it is applied to our relatives and friends as a regime for life, separately from the sanctions they view as punishment. Basque political prisoners are dispersed through different jails and also in different blocks. In other cases and without being subjected to this regime as such they are separated from their comrades which one must suppose leaves the prisoner in a lonely situation. Euskal Heria

Zaballa

Txus Martin

Spanish state:

Soto del Real

ibai Peña

French state:

Joux La Ville Joux La Ville Uzerche Tarascon

Marian Aramendi Julen Eizagirre Mattin Olzomendi Ibai Sueskun

Ibai Sueskun, in prison in Tarascon (French state) is refusing prison food ever Wednesday since December, in protest at his isolation. In addition, he has sent letters to the prison authorities explaining and demanding and end to his situation.

searches Particularly hard and aggressive body searches, conducted by several officers in each cell, were recorded in the prisons of Huelva, Córdoba, and Foncalent Dueñas (Spanish state).

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Prison Puerto III. As he came out of a face-to-face visit, Cotano Aitor was stripped and frisked. A prison oďŹƒcer also tried to force him to do pushups, despite the fact that he is on crutches, which the Basque prisoner refused, so he was taken to isolation. In the afternoon, when his partner was waiting to go to the visiting booths, she was told, without any explanation, that there would not be a visit. After many attempts to get an explanation for the arbitrary measure taken, the Chief OďŹƒcer said that Aitor had not complied with his orders, so he was in isolation. Finally, the visit could not go ahead. Most French prisons require the Basque prisoners to strip when they return from a visit with their lawyer, after a cell search, each time they go to court ....

problems with the right to communication Marta Lauzirika and partner Karmelo Igarriz, imprisoned in Port CastellĂł I and I, respectively: the Prosecutor has withdrawn permission for the couple to communicate. Algeciras Prison: after the ban on writing Christmas cards in Basque became public, the prisoners have been informed that the letters written in Castilian will now also be delayed for 14 days. Sevilla II: Since December, a new rule forbids the prisoners to receive more than two publications, whether books, newspapers or magazines, in their monthly packages.. Throughout the month there have been repeated problems with phone calls in prisons: Topas, Puerto I, Puerto III, Meaux ... Authorised calls are cut minutes before the five minutes allocated.

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New accident due to the dispersals On February 1, three friends of Mitxel Turrientes, imprisoned in the prison of Herrera, became victims of the first accident of this year 2013. The accident occurred near Burgos, on their way to the visit; they lost control of the car due to bad road conditions, ice and hail. They suered no serious injuries but lost their visit. They were forced to return by taxi due to the extent of the damage to the vehicle.

Harassment of relatives. In the third weekend of February, relatives of Aitziber Coello, incarcerated in the Foncalent jail, were staying at a nearby hotel intending to visit the following day. Around 3:00 am, six PolicĂ­a Nacional, five in uniform and one in plainclothes who was identified as such, tried to enter the room, in order to check the identities of the visitors of the female Basque prisoner. The relatives pointed out that there was a girl of 11 years present, and eventually they agreed that only the plainclothes policeman should enter. We consider situations such as this to be serious, to experience the shock of seeing the police in a room at dawn; there is also the fact that logic tells us that if they were aware of who were staying there, they also knew that there was a child among them. It is diďŹƒcult to justify on the other hand, in order to establish their identities, that it was necessary to go there at that hour. On February 3rd, the Ertzaintza (Basque Government police force -- Translator) stopped the van returning from family visits in Foncalent jail. It was held up there for one hour. On February 15th, the Guardia Civil, at an apparently routine checkpoint, stopped the car of a family who were on their way to catch the bus for relatives visiting prisons in Andalucia. They were held up there for a very long time during which not a single other vehicle was stopped.

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Searches of relatives Villena Prison: In a December face-to-face visit, the relatives suffered intense frisking; girls and boys had the detector passed over them, while the women were obliged to remove their bras. They were also searched by physically patting-down.n. Zuera Prison: Intense body searches before a face to face visit in January. Despite setting off no signal while passing through the metal detector, the relatives were brought to a room where they were obliged to submit to searches by physically patting down.

Lost visits Seysses Muret Prison, French state: the family of Juan Carlos Estevez could not make the visit because upon arrival, officers assured them that the Basque prisoner was not in that prison. However Juan Carlos Estevez was and is still in Seysses Muret. The prison is located 430 km from the Basque Country. Villefranche-sur-Saone Prison (French state). Relatives of prisoner Julen Mujika on 13th February journeyed the 900 kilometers to the French jail in order to visit their relative. The journey was in vain. Upon arriving there, they were informed that he had been transferred to the Muret-Seysses jail. Soto del Real Prison. Prisoner Aingeru Cardaño was transferred from that jail to the one at Ocaña I. The transfer took three days, from Friday to Monday, during which he was unable to communicate with his family. The day he arrived at Ocaña, he had a face-to-face visit scheduled at Soto. His relatives travelled 1,000 km altogether, totally in vain. Soto del Real Prison. Olga Comes was transferred from that jail to the one at Mansilla, Leon. As in the previous case, relatives only learned of this transfer when they arrived at the Soto jail to have their visit.

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set free Jesus Bollada (Barakaldo), 14th February after 26 years in jail. Mikel Olza (Iruñea), on 16th of February with sentence served. Ugaitz Astiz (Iruñea), on 16th of February with sentence served. Ailande Hernaez (Gasteiz), on 17th of February with sentence served. Iñaki Pujana (Otxandio), on 21st of February after 27 years in jail. Asier Tapia (Donostia), on 23rd of February after 5 years in prison.

imprisonments Alberto Gomez (Barakaldo), arrested on 8th of February in Barakaldo and jailed in Basauri. Aitor Franco (Orereta) arrested on 13th of February and jailed in Martutene. Oier Ibarguren (Donostia) arrested on 21th of February in Moulins (France). Arkaitz Varea (Antsoain) arrested on 21th of February in Moulins (France).

transferred change of destination Spanish state: Aingeru Cardaño (Bilbo), from Soto del Real to Ocaña I. Kristina Goirizelaia (Igorre), from Soto del Real to Estremera. Eneko Bilbao Aresti (Bilbo), from Soto del Real to Alcala Meco. Olga Comes Arranbillet (Iruñea), from Soto del Real to Mansilla.

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French state: Andoni Lariz (Ziortza-Bolibar), from Fleury to Bois D'Arcy. Julen Mujika (Donostia), from Villefranche to Muret Seysses. Oier Ardanaz (Iruñea), from Nantes to Poitiers-Vivonne. Xabier Aranburu (Bilbo), from Bourg to Bresse a Muret Seysses.

temporary relocations SPANISH STATE: Manex Castro (Villabona), from Puerto III to Zaballa. Ibai Beobide (Bilbo), from Puerto III to Valdemoro. Josune Balda (Oiartzun), from Valencia II to Soto del Real. Jose Agustin Camacho (Hernani), from Valencia II to Valdemoro. Jon Olarra (Donostia), from Granada to Valdemoro.

FRENCH STATE: Mikel Karrera (Iruñea), from Villepinte to Fresnes. Aitzol Iriondo (Donostia), from Bois D’Arcy to La Santé. Urtzi Etxebarria (Donostia), from Osny to La Sante. Jurdan Martitegi (Durango), from Nanterre to Fleury. Oihan Barandalla (Etxarri Aranatz), from Bourg en Bresse to La Santé.. Ander Mujika (Donostia), from Bourg en Bresse to La Santé. Marixol Iparragirre (Eskoriatza), from Lyon to Fresnes.

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Monthly report february 2013  

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