The University of the Basque Country's Criminology Institute and the Basque Government have published a report on cases of torture between 1960 and 2014. The report's directors –doctor in law Laura Pego and recognized court doctor Pako Etxeberria– have provided the information: during those years they found evidence of 4,113 cases of torture in the Basque Country.
This is the first time that a public institution has admitted that the Spanish State has carried out torture and, furthermore, it has given statistics about torture carried out in police stations. The report provides information about cases from 1960 – under Franco's regime – and in the following 'transition' period.
Of the 4,113 cases included in the report, in 1,792 instances the Spanish Police were the torturers, in 1,785 cases the Civil Guard, and in 336 cases the Basque Police (Ertzaintza). In fact, ErNE, the Basque police trade union, has severely criticised the contents of the report, saying that it is based "only on reports about torture" and does not take legal judgements into account. Etxeberria and Pego, on the other hand, have stated that the report is 95% believable, and that 202 of the reports of torture carried out by that police force pass the UN expert examination protocol requirements.
Spain under examination
The report has been published after the European Court for Human Rights punished the Spanish State at least six times. Since 2010 the Strasbourg-based court has criticised Spain time and again for not examining cases of torture.
50 state employees have been punished since then for carrying out torture. The report deals with 30 sentences connected with the Spanish National Police and the Civil Guard. The Spanish Government has been pardoned in many of those cases.
Most of the people who reported torture were men, according to Etxeberria and Pego: 83% of cases. In around 5% of cases people who were tortured or mistreated also reported psychological damage and requested help to deal with it.
On 14 April the biggest demonstration in Iruñea for a long time was held in support of the ten young people from Altsasu, Navarre, who are going to be tried in Madrid. Some people thought it was the biggest demonstration ever held there: the municipal police state that 38,000 people took part, while the organizers say that 50,000 did. Claiming that a brawl in which they took part was "terrorism", the prosecutor has called for them each to be imprisoned between 50 and 62 years.
“After taking part in a four-year long process, we have opened a new playground at our school. It will give boys and girls the same opportunities, they will be surrounded by nature and it has come from their dreams." This is now the new playground at Kurutziaga School at Durango, Bizkaia, has been described. It will be officially opened on 24th April.
After making preparatives over the last few months, BiziLagunEkin ('with our neighbours') platform has been set up in Donostia. "The current model of tourism in the city concerns us. We are a meeting place for people from different ideologies and ways of life. What brings us together is a concern about the consequences of tourism in our city on local people's lives".
The Government of Navarre (Basque Country) has decided to offer public health care to the people who have been excluded from it; for instance, immigrants without documents.
A pension of less than 1,080 Euros. That is the figure which the Pentsionistak Martxan (Pensioners on the March) platform has set forward as the lowest dignified pension, and on 17th March tens of thousands of people demonstrated in the main Basque cities in support. The people furthest from that objective in the Basque Autonomous Community (Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa) are women.
In 2017 somebody at Sarriguren (in the Iruñea area of Navarre) suggested that part of the town's participative budget be used to create a natural wooded area along the canal there.
The Basque Country Feminist Movement has given its first evaluation of the day. They underline that it was "a complete success", as can be seen in the photographs. They see the strike's success as turning point, and say it is time to take real measures "once and for all". According to the feminist movement, 230,000 women demonstrated in the Basque Country on the day.
Over recent years the FCC company has been in charge of keeping the streets of Hernani (Gipuzkoa) clean, just as in many other Basque towns. But from May onwards Hernani's own Garbitania public service will be doing that. Votes from EH Bildu and Orain Hernani (Podemos) passed switching the service from the private sector back to the public sector.
Basque political prisoner Xabier Rey Urmeneta has died in Puerto de Santa Maria Prison (Cadiz, Spain), more than 1,000 kilometres from his home in Iruñea.
A demonstration had been organised for 14th April in Iruñea in support of the three young people who have been held in prison for almost a year and a half, and to demand they be given a fair trial. After a pub brawl with two members of the Civil Guard (Spanish armed forces), they were arrested and have been held in custody since then.