no events posted in last week
The Party and the Ballot Box Sun Jul 14, 2019 22:24 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason
On The Decline and Fall of The American Empire and Socialism Sat Jan 26, 2019 01:52 | S. Duncan
What is Dogmatism and Why Does It Matter? Wed Mar 21, 2018 08:10 | Sylvia Smith
The Case of Comrade Dallas Mon Mar 19, 2018 19:44 | Sylvia Smith
Review: Do Religions Evolve? Mon Aug 14, 2017 19:54 | Dara McHugh
Spirit of Contradiction >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
Some Thoughts on the Brexit Joint Report 11:50 Sat Dec 09, 2017
IRISH COMMONWEALTH: TRADE UNIONS AND CIVIL SOCIETY IN THE 21ST CENTURY 14:06 Sat Nov 18, 2017
Notes for a Book on Money and the Irish State - The Marshall Aid Program 15:10 Sat Apr 02, 2016
The Financial Crisis:What Have We Learnt? 19:58 Sat Aug 29, 2015
Money in 35,000 Words or Less 21:34 Sat Aug 22, 2015
Dublin Opinion >>
Test ? 12 November 2018 Mon Nov 12, 2018 14:28 | namawinelake
Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake
Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake
NAMA Wine Lake >>
Don't Extradite the Basques Campaign Launched
rights, freedoms and repression |
Thursday June 11, 2009 23:13 by Emma Clancy - Don't Extradite the Basques Campaign info at dontextraditethebasques dot org
Stop Spanish Political Persecution!
The campaign against the extradition to Spain of Belfast-based Basque pro-independence activists Iñaki de Juana and Arturo ‘Beñat’ Villanueva was launched on Wednesday 10 June at a press conference in An Chultúrlann in west Belfast. Civil rights activist Fearghas Ó hÍr outlined the campaign on behalf of the committee and launched an online petition against the extraditions, which can be signed at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/dont-extradite-the-....html.
The Don't Extradite the Basques Campaign was formally launched on Wednesday 10 June against the extradition to Spain of Belfast-based Basque pro-independence activists Iñaki de Juana and Arturo ‘Beñat’ Villanueva at a press conference in the Irish language centre An Chultúrlann in west Belfast.
Civil rights activist Fearghas Ó hÍr outlined the campaign on behalf of the committee, joined by a range of supporters including prominent
human rights defenders and community activists, aiming to demonstrate the broad support for the human and civil rights of the Basque people from across the Belfast community.
An online petition against the extraditions was also launched at the press conference. Initial signatories to this petition include
Fearghas Ó hÍr, Bairbre de Brun (Sinn Fein MEP), human rights lawyer Pádraigín Drinan, Eamonn McCann (NUJ National Executive), Bobby Storey (Chairperson, Belfast Sinn Fein) Gerry McConville (Director, Falls Community Council) and Michael Culbert (former Antrim and St Gall's Football Manager).
Iñaki de Juana
Speaking on behalf of the campaign, Fearghas Ó hÍr said: “The Spanish authorities are trying to extradite Iñaki de Juana, who served 21
years in Spanish jails, from Belfast, where he moved immediately after his release in August last year, to face questioning related to charges of 'glorifying terrorism'.
“The arrest warrant is based on somebody at a rally in Donostia in August, which was celebrating Iñaki's release from prison, reading a
letter that used the popular Basque expression 'Aurrera bolie' ('Kick the ball forward'). The Spanish authorities claim this phrase
constitutes a call for the continuation of armed struggle.
“Iñaki was not present at this rally and denies writing such a letter, which Spanish police admit they cannot produce. There is no evidence that this comment was Iñaki's or that it somehow constitutes a terrorist offence.
“There has been a virulent and sustained hate campaign against Iñaki by the Spanish media for many years, and Spain's former justice
minister has previously publicly called for the judges to 'construct new charges' against Iñaki to 'keep him in jail',” Ó hÍr explained.
“It is very clear that behind the warrant for 'questioning' issued by Spain is the agenda of putting Iñaki back in prison, despite the fact
that these new charges are baseless.”
Arturo ‘Beñat’ Villanueva
Ó hÍr then outlined the case of Basque youth activist Arturo ‘Beñat’ Villanueva, who was arrested in March 2001 by the Spanish police, with 15 other young pro-independence activists, and was accused of being a member of Basque pro-independence socialist youth organisation Jarrai.
“While Jarrai is a solely political organisation, it was declared illegal by the Spanish authorities in 2005 and categorised as a
“terrorist” organisation by Spain's Supreme Court in 2007,” Ó hÍr explained.
“Charged with 'membership of a terrorist organisation', Beñat faced a possible 14-year jail sentence for his political activism. Released on bail after 10 months in prison, he did not attend what many believed to be a political show trial.
“In 2004, Beñat decided to seek refuge in Belfast from Spanish political persecution and the risk of torture.
“At the time of Beñat's alleged membership of Jarrai (1994-2000), the organisation was legal. The Spanish court is applying the law that
criminalised Jarrai retrospectively.
“Beñat is being targeted by the Spanish authorities for carrying out political, public and peaceful youth work in the Basque Country. His
only 'crime' has been his political ideas in favour of Basque independence and socialism,” Ó hÍr said.
“In its effort to prevent the Basque people from exercising their democratic right to self-determination, Spain is breaching several
fundamental rights as outlined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including the right to freedom of opinion and
expression, of peaceful assembly and association, the right to take part in the government of their state and the right not to be
subjected to torture or abuse,” Ó hÍr said.
“Iñaki de Juana and Arturo ‘Beñat’ Villanueva are clearly being persecuted solely for their political opinions, not for any criminal
activity. We believe that there is a serious danger that they will not receive a fair hearing within the Spanish judicial system and face the
risk of torture.
Mr Ó hÍr continued: “These extradition requests are politically unacceptable and we are calling on all those who support basic civil
rights to sign the petition against the extraditions.”
The campaign petition demands that the Spanish government respects the fundamental human, civil and political rights of the Basque people as laid out in the UN Declaration of Human Rights and that it ends its campaign of criminalisation against the Basque pro-independence movement.
The petition supports the human right of de Juana and Villanueva not to be persecuted by the Spanish government for their political
It calls on the British government to immediately reject the extradition requests and to refuse to collaborate with the Spanish
government in this political persecution.
Finally, the petition supports the right of de Juana and Villanueva to live freely in Ireland.
To sign the petition go to http://www.gopetition.com/online/28434.html.