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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Arbitrary arrests and torture: the daily bread.

At least in the Basque Country, though I know it happens in other places too (though most are not in EU, whatever that may mean).

The latest: among the late wave of mostly arbitrary and politically motivated arrests in Gipuzkoa, all have denounced tortures, wether physical or psychological. One of them, Aitor Alberdi, was so depressed by the isolation and police abuse, who shown him repeatedly what looked like an arrest grant against his girlfriend, that he tried to kill himself by the expeditive method of biting his wrists.

Five of the arrested, who eventually got out on bail, denounced publically and before the judges the tortures suffered, but the media covering this issue has been just a fraction of the ones covering the mediatized propagandistic arrests, presented by the authorities as a big hit against urban guerrilla.

Haizea Iriarte told how she was placed in a room beside her boyfriend (still in prision), separated by a single direction glass, so he could see her but she could not see him. Each time she answered something that the cops didn't like, they forced her to strip of one piece of her clothes. At the same time he was also beaten and abused.

Image of the press conference

They have been denied the right to be exmined by a forsenic physician, the right to name their lawyer, the right to declare in their mother tongue...

But I won't say this is annomalous at all. The real problem is that it is way too normal. It happens almost every day, in every corner of the Basque Country under Spanish administration. Then hey sentence people based only on self-inculpatory declarations obtained under torture and police reports that often have nothing to do with reality. Evidence?, what for? Presumption of innocence?, that's in Hollywood films. Human rights?, rights are, apparently, just for the far right criminals. Impartial judges?, don't make me laugh!

There were also protests in Oiartzun

Source: Gara: 'Hospitalizado uno de los últimos detenidos después de autolesionarse tras cinco días de incomunicación".

For further and regularly updated info on tortures and other rights violations in the Basque Coutry, read Torturaren Kontrako Taldea's site (in Spanish).

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