Parents et amis de prisonniers et rĂŠfugiĂŠs politiques basques
m a y 2 0 1 3
may The report, which includes incidents occurring in prisons during the month of May, shows no change or relaxation in prison policy. To the harsh conditions of life created by that policy, one must add the attitudes of many oﬃcials and prison oﬃcers, with carte blanche to continuously increase tension, humiliation and provocation in the day-to-day lives of Basque political prisoners. A collaboration which exists in order to further harden, if possible, a system that only considers the rights of Basque prisoners in order to abuse them. When this situation becomes unbearable, our family and friends in prison are forced to denunciations and protest actions up to that as hard and diﬃcult as a hunger strike. In Seysses Muret prison in the French State, Itziar Moreno and Ruben Rivero have been on hunger strike, which in the case of Itziar lasted 10 days, with political prisoners Julen Oihana and Mujika Garmendia also in the struggle, due to the attitude that the jail displayed towards Garmendia and Moreno; and especially the assaults Moreno suﬀered during those days. In the end, the struggle ended when Itziar Moreno was transferred to another prison.
Those who put pressures on our families and friend are not not known to be deterred by scruples. The recent maternity of Olga Sanz was the instrument used by the Villabona prison to pressure and frighten Olga, threatening to take the baby unless she left the Prisoners' Collective. For our part, we realize that our family situation is also used to subject us to degrading treatment, punishment and sanctions while the costs of the dispersal policy are illustrated again by yet another traﬃc accident, the fifth this year, experienced by friends of Peña Ibai when they went to visit him in Teruel prison. The current situation is, in some prisons, as hard as ever; in others, harder still; in all, more unjustifiable than ever. It calls for and end to the current prison policy.
monthly report mary 2013
"Prisoners have rights. The State has the obligation and mandate to respect and protect their human rights. In this sense, the prison policy principles adopted by the UN and the European Union should be the guide to direct their situation, such as the right for prisoners to serve their sentences close to their place of origin, as well as providing a solution to the situation of seriously-ill prisoners or the right to freedom of those who have served their sentence.” “The special measures adopted under the pretext of fighting against terrorism can no longer be justified in the context of transition from a situation marked by violence to another in which it is over. " (one of the recommendations made by the Forum for the Peace Process). We know that the Spanish and French states are light years away from wanting to admit that Basque prisoners have rights and from the PP's reactions to the recommendations of this Forum we know that it will not easily render a policy that seeks to benefit society but rather one that delivers in the politics of revenge. But we trust fully in the work of Basque society. This May brought more sad news: the murder of ex-political prisoner Mikel Illarramendi, apparently during a robbery, while working in Panama. To his family and friends, from Etxerat, our warmth and solidarity.
Etxean nahi ditugu! (Euskera for “We want them home!”-- Translator)
monthly report may 2013
dispersed 602 basque political prisoners 437 Basque political prisoners dispersed over 45 prisons 131 prisoners dispersed over 25 jails in the French state 17 prisoners in 3 jails in Euskal Herria 4 prisoners in an English jail 1 prisoner in the Six Counties (â€œNorthern Irelandâ€?) 1 prisoner Portugal 10 prisoners on parole, due to serious and incurable illness. 1 Basque prisoner confined to Autun area (French state)
in jails between 1.000 and 1.100 km from Euskal Herria (the Basque Country)
in jails between 800 and 1.000 km from Euskal Herria
in jails between 600 and 800 km from Euskal Herria
in jails between 400 and 600 km from Euskal Herria
81 prisoners one prisoner
in jails at least 400 km from Euskal Herria confined 900 km from Euskal Herria
6 Basque prisoners in jails in other countries.
monthly report may 2013
right to health The situation of the fifteen prisoners with serious and incurable diseases remains the same without any progress. Their release from prison is essential in order to cope with their illness with dignity, with medical monitoring and a guarantee of the necessary care and treatment which their diseases require. Their stay in prison aggravates their ailments and each passing day is time that runs against the health of every one of them. Of particular concern is the case of Txus Martin, suďŹ€ering from an acute psychological illness which requires he be submitted to suicide prevention procedure, which requires him to be in company 24 hours a day. Although there are another six Basque political prisoners currently held in the same prison (Zaballa), they are not permitted to be ones sharing with him, which undermines his spirits considerably. The prison forbids that he share with someone in whom he trusts, who can help to alleviate his condition. For this required sharing he is allocated only social prisoners. To this should be added that he has recently been diagnosed with an aorta deficiency condition, which cannot be treated due to the incompatibility of the necessary treatment with that prescribed for his psychological illness.
In principle this should not be a serious deficiency, the complication arises by not being able to apply the appropriate treatment, which makes it diďŹƒcult to properly control it. Because it is their right, fifteen prisoners with serious and incurable diseases must be released. We want them alive and home!
monthly report may 2013
special measures unending sentence paroles In the French state, life sentences are applied in a diﬀerent way to other states; there is no maximum number of years laid down for the life sentence there. In the French state a prisoner sentenced to life (“perpétuité”) can apply for parole after completing 15 years (or by completing a “security period ” if that measure has been applied to him or her), but it is the Sentences Judge which accedes to the application or who can refuse it – and may continue to refuse it. Some social prisoners have served as long as 50 years in French jails.
Currently four Basque political prisoners have been sentenced to life in France: Jakes Esnal, Frederik Haranburu and Ion Kepa Parot, have already served 23 years in prison and it was recently also applied to Mikel Karrera. This measure has also been applied de facto to other Basque political prisoners by long sentences, as in the case of Saioa Sanchez, Lorentxa Beyrie or Didier Agerre. In the Spanish state our families, our relatives, our friends were sentenced in their time by the courts. This sentence had a date of commencement and an end date. Since 2006, Decree 197/2006 of the Supreme Court, which, despite being contrary to law applies retroactively, subjects Basque political prisoners to life imprisonment to which they were not sentenced and nor were we.
Ninety-two Basque prisoners have had their sentences extended by up to 12 years in jail. Of these 92, seventy are still in prison. Decree 197/2006 thus becomes another mechanism of a prison policy employed as an instrument of revenge to cause continuing suﬀering. This is within a prison policy requiring, for their purposes, carte blanche for violation of rights.
The systematic denial of parole is another of the special measures taken against Basque political prisoners, who are kept in prison until the complete fulfillment of their sentences, systematically rejecting access to probation to those who are eligible for it. monthly report may 2013
inviolation theofprisons rights other incidents Isolation Isolation or the separation of comrades, preventing all contact between them, is part of the specific regime applied to Basque political prisoners. Although in legislation and in penitentiary norms isolation is a measure applied to very concrete situations and for a restricted period, it is applied to our relatives as a way of life, in addition to other sanctions which they may intend to use as punishment. The Basque political prisoners are dispersed in diﬀerent jails and in addition to diﬀerent blocks. In other cases, without being in isolation as such, they are kept apart from their comrades, which we must assume creates a diﬃcult lonely situation. Euskal Herria
Txus Martin Urtza Alkorta
Gotzone L. de Luzuriaga Spanish state
Soto del Real
Olga Sanz (medical section) Leire López Zurutuza Córdoba
Sergio Polo (solitary confinement block)
Oscar Barreras Xabier Rey
Estremera Puerto I
Foncalent Joux la Ville
Sonia Jacinto Arkaitz Bellon
Garikoitz Mujika Marian Aramendi Julen Eizagirre
monthly report may 2013
Ibai Sueskun Kristina Goirizelaia
Bourg en Bresse
Hunger strike MURET SEYSSES jail (French state): Itziar Moreno and Oihana Garmendia began a hunger strike on May 27 in protest at the continuing tension and provocations created by the attitude of the prison guards. On the day the strike began, Itziar Moreno (from Bilbo) had an argument with an oﬃcer, in the course of which the oﬃcer shoved her to the ground, handcuﬀed and immediately afterwards dragged her to mitard (isolation). After this, Itziar Moreno and her comrade, Ohiana Garmendia, embarked upon a hunger strike as the situation was not an isolated incident but the usual procedure of the prison guards in Seysses Muret. Ten days later, upon Itziar Moreno being transferred to another prison, they ended their protest.
Pressurising Olga Sanz was transferred from the Soto del Real jail to the one in Aranjuez after giving birth. While she was pregnant in the jail at Villabona, personnel in the jail took advantage of the situation in order to pressurise her into leaving the Basque Political Prisoners' Collective, threatening to take away her child. Her partner and father of her son remains in the Villabona jail and they are permitted only one telephone call fortnightly of fifteen minutes.
Searches of prisoners and other incidents MURCIA PRISON: On May 21st, Kandido Sagarzazu, prisoner from Donosti, was in the gym of Murcia II prison, when he was approached by a prison guard in an unexplained aggressive manner, so that the Basque prisoner chose to ignore him, whereupon the oﬃcer gave him a nasty blow to the arm, causing a considerable hematoma. Then Sagarzazu Kandido was taken to isolation cell for 48 hours. His comrade in the jail, Mikel Izpura, carried out a rules infringement in order to be also moved to isolation and show solidarity with Sagarzazu. CORDOBA PRISON: Oﬃcials have begun to make nightly rounds on the hour in the isolation landing. They go through the landing without opening the peepholes of the cells, but knocking on the cell doors to wake the prisoners on each round. monthly report may 2013
PUERTO I PRISON: The authorities have increased considerably the number of cell searches, letting the prisoners know that they intend to maintain this frequency from now on. SEVILLA II PRISON: Between 7th and 13th April, the prisoners have been searched by patting and squeezing bodily parts before going to the exercise yard, so they filed a complaint against this measure. From 9th to 12th of the same month, the prisoners refused this frisking to go outside on mornings, stating that this kind of frisking favours the aggressive and provocative attitude of some staﬀ and facilitates attacks.
Right to communication CASTELLO II PRISON: The authorities withhold photographs of friends and relatives on irrelevant and petty excuses, such as that there is a Basque flag near the person in the photo, or one of the photographed people is wearing a badge or pin. The staﬀ of a private security firm are used at weekends (but not during weekdays) to check the identities of prisoners' relatives. DAROCA ESPETXEA PRISON: A private security firm has been contracted to check the details of visitors of the Basque political prisoners 2. Arguments broke out when these asked to see proof of identification of minors. ESTREMERA PRISON: The authorities removed visiting permission for six months from the partner of Jon Kepa Preciado (because they found in the pocket of a pair of trousers in a parcel brought by her, €20 euros and a piece of paper on which was written how much to take oﬀ the bottom of the trousers. The relatives are unsure how those objects came to be in the trousers. As the punishment is very heavy, they have appealed it).
2 The relatives and friends object to this as a further intrusion on their privacy and as yet another hurdle which they have to overcome in order to have a meeting of 40 minutes after often lengthy journeys.
monthly report may 2013
GRANADA PRISON: The authorities have stated that henceforth they will not permit partners of prisoners to accompany relatives on open family visits (as they claim that these visits then become open intimate visits 3). They guards continue frisking relatives. They have also interfered with telephone communication (for example ending the call before the five minutes is up or claiming that the telephone is out of order ....) JAEN PRISON: Random strip-searching of Basque political prisoners. MANSILLA PRISON, León: After 10 months of seeking a transfer to the jail where his partner is held so as to get to know his son 4 , Basque prisoner Oroitz Salegi has been permitted to get to know him only by videoconference. An oﬃcial said: “ … and I won't have to put my hand up your arse because they don't pay me enough”. BADAJOZ PRISON: Kepa del Hoyo continues to have to endure a particular oﬃcer'd crusade against him. He recently disturbed him at 4 am outside his door (waking him up, making noise, insulting him) .... MONTERROS PRISON: The authorities banned a poster of Porrotx Pirritx (a very popular Basque clown duo) because it was in Euskera (Basque Language -- although such linguistic discrimination is not legal). PUERTO III PRISON: Of the three Basque prisoners permitted to have visits accompanied by small children, one has had monthly visits approved for some time. Both other prisoners applied for the same – one had permission granted but not the other. TERUEL PRISON: The prisoners are stripped after open visits 5 .
3 Prisoners who have a wife or a husband are also entitled to intimate meetings, when intimacy is permitted with one's partner 4 Women prisoners may keep their children with them up to three years of age. 5 i.e. without glass barrier between prisoner and visitor.
monthly report may 2013
VALLADOLID PRISON: Relatives attending with children are obliged to produce a certificate of agreement from the mother in order to be able to go ahead with the visit, even when accompanied by the father. BOURG EN BRESSE PRISON(French state): On the 18th three friends, one of them with a hip replacement, went to visit Ander Mujika. Prior to going through the detector, the visitor informed them of this and gave the guard the appropriate certificates. After going through the detector, the other two visitors were permitted to enter but when the detector noted the hip replacement, the visitor was obliged to produce once again the documents, only to be told that permission to enter would not be granted. Explanations that the visitor had been admitted in the past and that the social worker of the jail had copies of the certificates were of no avail. But in addition, the other two visitors were also prevented from going in to visit the prisoner, being taken out roughly and pushed out forcibly. Finally the guards permitted one of them only to visit the prisoner.
EPPK (Basque Political Prisoners) actions in the jails On the last Friday of the month the Collective continues its campaign for “Euskal Presoak Euskal Herrira” (“Basque Prisoners to the Basque Country”). Each prison organises its own action; in most, they refuse prison food or fast. On the last Friday of the month, also with fasts, they protest and demand the annulment of Decree 197/2006
monthly report may 2013
relatives and friends New accident caused by dispersal policy On 25th May, two relatives of the prisoner Ibai Peña from Gasteiz were in a traﬃc accident on their way to visit him at the Teruel prison where he is jailed. At 8:00am at the Ubide water course, a deer crossed the road and crashed into the car. The impact of considerable force, although not harming the occupants, obliged them to retrace their journey and begin anew with a diﬀerent car.
Mikel Illarramendi, ex-political prisoner, dies in Panama Mikel Illarramedi ex-Basque political prisoner, died in Panama on the 28th of May. He was stabbed in the course of a robbery at the house where he lived. He was in temporary residence in Panama for work reasons. Etxerat wishes to convey to his relatives its warmth and solidarity at this diﬃcult time.
monthly report may 2013
Eider Zuriarrain (Deustu), 7th May, on bail of €20,000 awaiting outcome of appeal. Euri Albisu (Segura), 7th May. Already at liberty, presented self in front of judge to complete sentence but was bailed on €20,000. Xabier Atristan (Donostia). Juan Mari Mariezkurrena (Hernani), on bail of €20,000 awaiting outcome of appeal. Edu Perez Anuzita (Igorre), 9th May, after 18 years in jail. Xabier Sagardoy (Barañain), 12th May. Ekaitz Agirre (Donostia), 10th May, on bail of €15,000. Paul Asensio (Algorta), 17th May, sentence completed. Karlos Apeztegia (Iruñea), 22nd May, after 22 years in jail. Josu Ziganda (Orereta), 22nd May, after 24 years in jail.
jailed Eider Zuriarrain (Deustu), 3rd May, to complete sentence. Xabier Atristan (Donostia), 4th May, to complete sentence. Juan Mari Marizkurrena (Hernani), 4th May, to complete sentence. Raul Aduna (Gasteiz), 7th May, jailed in La Santé Andoni Goikoetxea (Gaztelu), 7th May, jailed in Fleury Igor Uriarte (Gasteiz), 7th May, jailed in Osny Julen Mendizabal (Arrasate), 7th May, jailed in Osny Ekhiñe Eizagirre (Zarautz), 7th May, jailed in Fresnes Kepa Arkauz (Arrasate), 7th May, jailed in Villepinte Urtza Alkorta (Ondarroa), 7th May, jailed in Zaballa Xabier Agirre (Gasteiz), 7th May
monthly report may 2013
change of prison Spanish state: Ekaitz Ezkerra (Donostia), from Martutene to Zaballa Aitor Olaizola (Donostia), from Martutene to Zaballara. Egoi Alberdi (Donostia), from Martutene to Zaballa Mikel Arretxe (Donostia), from Martutene to Zaballa Oier Lorente (Donostia), from Martutene to Zaballa Olga Sanz (Sopela), from Villabona to Soto del Real Ibai Peña (Gasteiz), from Soto del Real to Teruel Juan Carlos Estevez (Donostia), from Soto del Real to Villena Alberto Gomez (Barakaldo), from Basauri to Foncalent Xabier Lujanbio (Orereta), from Martutene to Foncalent Maitane Linazasoro (Orereta), from Martutene to Topas Iñaki Goienetxe (Iruñea), from Ocaña II to Jaen Asier Badiola (Ondarru), from Estremera to Valencia III Alicia Saez de la Cuesta (Gasteiz), from Aranjuez to Logroño
Temporary relocations (for court appearances etc.) SPANISH STATE: Manex Castro (Villabona), from Puerto to Zaballa Iñaki Marin (Iruñea), from A Lama to Valdemoro Iker Araguas (Iruñea), from Mansilla to Valdemoro Iñigo Zapirain (Bilbo), from Jaen to Aranjuez Olatz Lasagabaster (Donostia), from Foncalent to Brieva, Avila. Bea Etxebarria (Bilbo), from Córdoba to Soto del Real.
FRENCH STATE: Mikel Karrera (Iruñea), from Fresnes to Villepinte Eider Uruburu (Bilbo), from Fleury to Lion Corbás. monthly report may 2013
Etxerat 9th May. Etxerat organised 140 prisoners' relatives to walk the streets of Bilbao protesting the consequences of the prison policy. They left in a human chain at 18:30 from Plaza Moyua to Arriaga. Their objective was to impress their situation upon Basque society. They carried placards, gave out leaflets and also displayed the map of prisoner dispersal. The eﬀects they suﬀer and protested were clearly illustrated by the slogan chosen for the action: “Condemned”. 11th May. A press conference presented the solidarity weekend that would take place on the 1st and 2nd July with the 15th annual Hatortxu Rock concert in Atarrabia and the 1st Lasterbidean community races in Oiartzun. The press conference was presented by the organisers of each activity and by Etxerat relatives. 25th May. Two Etxerat relatives took part in the activities about represion organised in Madrid by the Euskal Herriaren Lagunak group there. 29th May. A round-table discussion about deportation was organised at the Aldabe cultural centre in Gasteiz. Taking part were Iker Urbina, lawyer and Amaiur parliamentary representative, also Kristiane Etxaluz, partner of Alfonso Etxegarai, deportado a Sao Tomen. Journalist Bertha Gaztelumendi facilitated the discussion.
monthly report may 2013
Monthly report of may in english