Friday, May 05, 2006

Addressing human rights violations in the Basque country - independent report by the Australian television SBS

With the help of our Basque friends, we are hereby presenting the independent report of the Australian television SBS about the grave human rights violations in the Basque country.

The almost half-hour TV report may be viewed here:

As we portrayed in our previous pots the Spanish government presents the whole Basque opposition as terrorist and implement anti-terrorist measures in the two directions that we have explained previously. It accuses Basque citizens of “being terrorists”, without any evidence and without a fair trial. At this stage, they have implemented counter terrorism mechanisms in flagrant opposition to the international human rights, using incommunicado detention, which allows the existence of torture, denying a fair trial in the Special Antiterrorist Court (Audiencia Nacional), where statements taken under torture are sufficient to find the suspect guilty …. The last (E/CN.4/2002/76/Add.1) report submitted by the Special Rapporteur on Torture, Theo van Boben, to the UN Commission on Human Rights, acknowledged the existence of 58 cases of torture denounced by Basque suspects during the year 2000. Second, political and social organizations that until now were working in a public, legal and free manner, are now being accused of being terrorists. By doing
so, they have violated the freedom of association, freedom of expression and opinion. There are, nowadays, two possibilities to allow the ilegalization of political and social organisations. There amany attempts to damage the political activity of the political party Batasuna. One of them comes from the intervention of judge Baltasar Garzón, examining magistrate of the Special Antiterrorist Court. He has decided that all the Basque social and grassroot organisations, political groups and even the media, included Batasuna, belong to ETA, and, therefore, they are against the law. He can take special pre-trial measures and, as a cautionary step, suspend the activities of these organisations. No substantial evidence is provided. More than 200 people are implicated in this process.

Another approach takeen by Spanish authorities consists in reforming the Parties Act and considering that the parties that do not agree with the “constitutional principles” are operating outside the Spanish law. The decision will be taken by the Special Court in the Supreme Tribunal. There will be no evidence either, but a media campaign which will have to convince Spanish public opinion. The activity of Batasuna will have been suspended for many years, with all the obvious consequences for both, the party and its electorate. In last decades there has been a serious record of violations of public freedoms and the lack of guarantees in the promotion and protection of human rights. It’s important to raise the voice of alarm in an attempt to prevent this situation from being translated into other political contexts, wherever they may occur.


At 10:17 PM, Blogger Matej Avbelj said...

This is ineed an incredible clip. It is hard to believe that something like that is taking place still today. Even if taking into account that the documentary might be biased in way, the stories of all the victims converge to such a degree that the torture is apparently a fact.


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