Over the week, sadly, torture has been back in the headlines in the Basque Country. It all has evolved from a torture case from couple of years ago, when several political activists were detained and tortured. One of them signed the self-incriminatory statement with the word “Aztnugal”, which is “Laguntza” (Basque word for “help”) written backwards. They were declared guilty and sentenced to 18 months in Prison. After relatives and political entities pressured several institutions, they managed to get the UN to sanction Spain for not investigating the torture cases. During this period, the relatives of the detainees painted a mural (with the council’s approval) denouncing torture. After pressure from UN and once obvious that the self-incriminatory statements were produced under torture, the court ruled that the activists would not need to go to Prison. Just two days after the decision, the police detained the relatives who painted the mural, accusing them of “insulting the Police’s honour”. Sadly, it’s not just torture, but we also lack proper freedom of expression in the Basque Country.
Now, once that the events have been explained, our basque member organisation, Gazte Abertzaleak, asks to denounce torture and repression of freedom of expression, G.A. would like to start a international campaign taking a picture with the attached signs, in order to create a collage, showing international support to tortured Basque activists and denounce Spanish use of torture. So please:
- Print article’s image
- Take a picture with it. Do not hesitate to do it with your party national flag or in front of some remarkable sight of your city (if possible), but please bear in mind that the sign must be “readable”.
Please send the pictures, before Sunday 24th of April, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once all the pictures have been received, Gazte Abertzaleak and EFAy will produce a statement condemning the use of torture and a collage with all the pictures.