The European Court of Human Rights has condemned the Spanish State for torturing Igor Portu and Mattin Sarasola. The judges decided that Spain had contravened the 3rd clause of the European Convention. The Spanish State has to pay the two men 30,000 and 20,000 Euros, respectively, "for moral damages".
The decision to take the case to Strasbourg was made when the Spanish High Court decided to absolve the four torturers who had been condemned by a court in Gipuzkoa (Basque Country) and, subsequently, the Spanish Constitutional Court decided not to accept an appeal against that second ruling.
At present Igor Portu and Mattin Sarasola are in prison, accused of being members of ETA and having killed two people at Madrid's Barajas airport on 30th December, 2006.
16 hours after having been arrested, Igor Portu had to be taken to the Intensive Care Unit at Donostia Hospital. He had a punctured lung, a broken rib, a haemorrhage in one eye and bruises all over his body: it was obvious that he had been tortured.
After being kept incommunicado for five days, Mattin Sarasola reported to a judge from the Spanish National Court that he, too, had been tortured.
Sortu, the Basque pro-independence party, has asked for Igor Portu and Mattin Sarasola's sentences to be reviewed. Arkaitz Rodriguez, Sortu's spokesperson, has underlined that this is the first time that Strasbourg has condemned Spain "not just for not investigating reports of torture in the correct manner" but also "for torturing".
Rodriguez has recalled the decisions which the European Court has taken against Spain in the past, seven in total, and stated that the Spanish High Court has covered up cases of torture, systematically turning a blind eye to such cases.
A report drawn up by the University of the Basque Country's Criminology Institute states that there were 4,113 proven cases of torture between 1960 and 2014.
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.
Last Saturday the anti-incinerator movement organised a mass demonstration in Donostia-San Sebastian (Basque Country). They gave the provincial government and its leader, Markel Olano, a message: "Use your energy recycling, not just burning refuse".
Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour de France, has replied to a request made by Euskaltzaindia (the Royal Academy of the Basque Language), and stated that the official signs as the Tour goes through Senpere and Ezpeleta on 28th July will be bilingual, in Basque and French.
This year is the Eusko's fifth birthday. This solidarity and ecology-focused local currency is used in Lapurdi, Lower Navarre and Zuberoa (the northern Basque Country, which is under French administration). It is strongly supported by both citizens and institutions, and the aim is to continue enlarging the network which uses it. To celebrate the fifth anniversary, a "great family-style party" has been organised for 4th March.
On the morning of 20th February, 2003, I picked up the phone and heard Joxemari Irazusta's voice: "The Civil Guard have arrested Pello Zubiria." Pello? Joxemari told me the little he knew about it, and I couldn't believe it. I got back into bed; I couldn't digest the news. After turning around for a couple of minutes I got up again and set off for Lasarte (Gipuzkoa), the place where we edit ARGIA.
Andoain Town Council (Gipuzkoa, Basque Country) has signed an agreement with Fiare. Socially excluded citizens, and those in danger of being so, will be able to ask for loans from the ethical bank without the guarantees required by traditional banks.
The Basque feminist movement gave the details of the strike which it has called for 8th March at Donostia's Tabakalera International Contemporary Art Centre.