NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE POLICE RAIDS A REGULAR FEATURE

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kbcl1
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NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE POLICE RAIDS A REGULAR FEATURE

Post by kbcl1 » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:41 pm

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

POLICE RAIDS A REGULAR FEATURE OF BASQUE LIFE

The General Secretary (GS) of the League has received an email from the Basque
Country with a detailed account of an armed police raid of yet another Basque
home and the detention of a young woman, in what has become an outrageously
regular occurrence in the life of Basque society.

The GS comments below on the latest developments, which have directly affected
the lives of two of his friends:

"Last night I received an email from a Scottish/Basque friend, Ander, who I used
to watch rugby with when I lived in Irunia/Pamplona (Navarre, a province of the
Basque Country), along with his girlfriend Edurne. Instead of the usual banter
and update on life that I was expecting in the email, Ander told me that Edurne
had been arrested in an early morning raid by the police. This was not another
news story that I was reading of a further arrest of a `Basque activist' in a
town far away, but an email about the arrest of my friend in a city I used to
live in.

"We all used to talk politics now and again and I knew that Ander actively
campaigned for Basque prisoner rights and was knowledgeable on the subject, but
so did I through the Celtic League. Edurne I know was also a peaceful campaigner
for Basque rights and she was always very fair and considered in our
discussions. We all agreed though that using violence was not the way forward
for the Basque Country and that democratic politics was the only solution.
"However, as Ander says in his account below, the Spanish police placed Edurne
under `incommunicado detention', which `means 5 days with no access to a lawyer
or a doctor. It means illegal interrogation by the Security Forces,
psychological terror, forced postures, threats to yourself and your loved ones,
lies "your mother has had a heart attack and died" (repeated over and over,
until you believe it). It may mean sexual abuse, beatings, suffocation with a
plastic bag…' These are known and proven Spanish police methods for dealing with
people in incommunicado detention and have been condemned by groups like Amnesty
International, United Nations, European Union and of course the League. I am not
describing a military state in the Far East here, but a European Member state
where many of you, no doubt, have been for a holiday at some point in your life.

"I lived in Irunia for over 2 years and I saw firsthand how brutal the police
can be there. I have seen the photos of prisoners held up silently by relatives
and friends lining the streets every Friday. I have heard the shots from police
guns, the cries from the public and the smashing of windows as the police break
up small peaceful demonstrations by women and how the police line the streets in
military style uniforms with their guns held aloft as thousands pass by chanting
for freedom of expression and the condemnation of further bans of political
parties and youth groups. I have even been in these demonstrations myself,
surrounded by people of all ages and have been amazed by the resilience, bravery
and determination of those protesting peacefully in the face of aggression.

"Now though someone I know personally as a friend has been arrested. Ander said
that "some 10 other people were arrested in the Basque province on the same
night" and for all I know, if I had still been living in Irunia today, perhaps I
would have been the eleventh. This threat to democracy is real and open. The
state of Spain is not under a dictatorship – General Franco died in 1975 and
Spain wrote a democratic constitution. Actions like this are not supposed to
happen in a European Union today and yet they do. If we choose – it is a choice
- to stand back and let this continue, then perhaps one of us will be next. I
urge you all to write letters of protest to the Spanish Embassy wherever you
live and your local political representative, asking them for an explanation in
this later round of arrests and a restoration of democracy and freedom of
speech. It is only through international people pressure that the Spanish
authorities will eventually listen – I hope you can help."

Ander's account of what happened on 18th January 2011 is below:

"Last night Edurne and I were asleep.

I woke up as if from a dream about the doorbell. It was our doorbell and loud
banging on the door of the flat.

Through the peephole, I saw helmets and masked, armed men, shouting,

- POLICE!!! OPEN UP OR WE'LL KNOCK THE DOOR DOWN!!!

I turned to see her, barely awake, and said

- it's the police…

- what?!

More banging.

I opened the door, hands up, and said: what's going on? - as they shoved me back
- do you have an entry order?!

NO NEED. TURN AROUND. IN THERE. HANDS UP, FACING THE WALL!

They went to Edurne and said she was under Incommunicado arrest, for
"integration in an armed group" (this figure, often used by the Spanish courts,
has been shown to cover just about everything from actually having guns, etc. to
speaking at a public rally in favour of as peace process. See Martin Scheinin,
UN Special Rapporteur's report on Spain).

My heart sank to my feet. It was 02:50. Not the milkman, Mr. Churchill.

To cut a long story short, they turned the flat inside out, looking for goodness
knows what. They took my hard drive, my iPod, the hard drive from my work laptop
and a couple of USB pendrives. They took Edurne's cameras, mine, her phone, my
diary; they ripped up boxes and envelopes… I still don't know what else is
missing, because of the state in which they left the flat.

I spent the three hours the search took under custody of two large Special
Operations uniformed, armed, policemen, while the masked men (and one woman)
went about their business, sharing the odd joke. I repeatedly demanded my
constitutional right to witness the search.

REQUEST DENIED, THE COURT SECRETARY IS HERE
Which one of you is he? May I talk to him?
NO.

I stated that they were going through stuff of mine, that I had a right to see
what was going on.

NO

The only solace we got was a quick hug, before they took her away, handcuffed,
downstairs and (as I found out later) marched her in front of the TV crews who
had somehow got a hold of the "scoop" (common practice by someone in the system,
to ensure the media are aware, so they can record the police's daring exploits).

The search of her workplace took two and a half hours. Pretty much the same
story.

Her Dad (who is her boss) was allowed to be present, but not to talk to her.

SHE IS UNDER INCOMMUNICADO DETENTION.

After that, she was marched off again, this time with a hood over her head. I
ran after the armed police, shouting the Basque equivalent of: keep the heid!
Remember not to believe anything they say to you! We will be fine! remember not
to sign a statement! I love you! We love you!

Her parents are distraught. Some 10 other people were arrested in the Basque
province of Navarre last night. We have met with the lawyer and she has told us
what most people in this country know. Incommunicado detention means 5 days with
no access to a lawyer or a doctor. It means illegal interrogation by the
Security Forces, psychological terror, forced postures, threats to yourself and
your loved ones, lies "your mother has had a heart attack and died" (repeated
over and over, until you believe it). It may mean sexual abuse, beatings,
suffocation with a plastic bag…

There is nothing we can do right now. It won't do to keep going over and over
the torture methods the Spanish Security Forces are known to use (see former UN
Special Rapporteur Theo van Boven's reports on Spain, Amnesty Intl. yearly
reports on Spain, etc.).

We will probably know nothing until Saturday, when the 120 hours of
incommunicado detention are up. After that, Edurne and the others will be taken
before the investigating judge. This particular one systematically refuses
detainees the assistance of their own lawyers even when appearing before him, he
systematically refuses habeas corpus.

We will travel to Madrid, to the Audiencia Nacional, the special court directly
descended from the Francoist "Public Order Tribunal". And wait.

Thereafter, Edurne may be released under bail or remanded in custody. This, in
practice can mean up to 4 years of pre-trial imprisonment, in one or various
gaols hundreds of kilometres away from home. If that happens, we will go through
mountains of bureaucracy and long journeys to see her for 40 minutes, a week.
Because we will not leave her on her own. We haven't. We won't. Ever.

You all know Edurne. She is a nice girl, she's into cooking and Basque dancing.
She loves watching Scotland play rugby (surely a sign of a strong heart!). She
has never been involved in anything illegal, but she has certainly done her bit
to support friends and other people who have gone through the ordeal she is
going through now. It is common sense. And ethics.

The Spanish Government is doing this as a show of strength and in a deliberate
attempt to frustrate the radical move away from armed conflict currently ongoing
in the Basque Country.

I must ask you to bear this wee letter in mind. Maybe you want to write to your
MP: what is the position of the UK on their EU partner's actions? Maybe you just
want to tell your friends about this.

Believe me, disbelieve the stuff coming out of the Spanish press and their
securocratic masters: what I have written here today is true.

Before going to bed, Edurne and I watched Star wars, Episode IV, also known as
"A New Hope". Terrible that the evil empire should disturb our dreams so easily.

Keep the head!

We love you Edurne!


Ander Larunbe Anderson. 18 January 2011."


This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary
Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209315884
M: 0044(0)7787318666

rhisiart.talebot@...
gensec@...

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

20/01/11

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works
to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights
human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
socio-economic issues.

TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609

Internet site at:

http://celticleague.net
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/

carrek
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Re: NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE POLICE RAIDS A REGULAR FEAT

Post by carrek » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:52 pm

There is no democracy. Just an elite who happen to be the ones in power and like having control over as much land as possible and will do their damned hardest not to give it up.

"Ethnic minority" is something you find in distant, developing, oppressed countries, what you read about in the Guardian, the Tibetans, the Uighurs, the Kashmiris of the world. Something the metropolitan classes find stylish to support. In the "civilised", developed, "democratic" west, we are all citizens of the state. Nothing more, that is our only identity. Anything else is "provincial" or "backwards".
Last edited by carrek on Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Marhak
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Re: NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE POLICE RAIDS A REGULAR FEAT

Post by Marhak » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:03 am

The world's most discriminated against races: The Celts and the Basques.

Cormorant
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Re: NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE POLICE RAIDS A REGULAR FEAT

Post by Cormorant » Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:45 pm

Marhak wrote:The world's most discriminated against races: The Celts and the Basques.
I very much doubt that? I wonder if you could qualify that statement, with some evidence?

MaliAft4
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Re: NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE POLICE RAIDS A REGULAR FEAT

Post by MaliAft4 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:28 pm

Marhak wrote: The world's most discriminated against races: The Celts and the Basques.
I fear that the Jews, Tutsis and residents of Dafur might object to that, to name but three.

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kbcl1
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LEAGUE WELCOME NEW BASQUE POLITICAL PARTY

Post by kbcl1 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:06 pm

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

LEAGUE WELCOME NEW BASQUE POLITICAL PARTY

The General Secretary (GS) of the Celtic League has written in support of moves
to form a new political party in the Basque Country to represent the Basque
nationalist left.

Over the last ten years successive Spanish Governments have banned and arrested
members of various Basque left wing nationalist political parties and
organisations, claiming that they were linked to ETA. In 2009 representatives of
Batasuna - a political party banned in 2003 by the Spanish courts - took their
case unsuccessfully to the European Court of Human Rights.

Other parties and organisations banned by the Spanish government, include
Askatasuna (banned in 2009), Batasuna (banned in 2003), Euskal Herrialdeetako
Alderdi Komunista/ Communist Party of the Basque Homelands (banned in 2008),
Demokrazia Hiru Milioi (D3M) (banned 2009) and Eusko Abertzale Ekintza/ Basque
Nationalist Action (banned in 2008). Successive governments have also banned and
arrested the editorial teams of Basque language newspapers, including the
Egunkaria newspaper, which was closed down in 2003. The editorial team of
Egunkaria claimed they were tortured by police while in custody and were later
convicted, but fully acquitted in 2010. Various Basque youth organisations have
also been banned, for alleged linked with ETA. In is unknown yet if any newly
formed political party representing the Basque nationalist left will also be
banned.

Spanish Governments have been strongly criticised by the United Nations,
European Union, and numerous NGO's, including the League for their repressive
measures against the Basques. Martin Scheinin, the United Nations Special
Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental
Freedoms, accused the Spanish state in 2009 of using too wide an application of
its definition of "support for an armed organisation" in its Law of Political
Parties. Currently any grouping that has the same ultimate aims as ETA – left
wing, Nationalist and Basque speaking - can be banned, even when their methods
of working for those aims are all entirely legal.

In his letter to a representative of the new movement the GS said:

"We wish you every luck in your political journey to self-determination and hope
our support and solidarity go some way in helping you achieve your aims."

The full text of the letter from the GS can be found below.



"Dear

I am writing to congratulate you on behalf of the Celtic League for the efforts
that are being made by the nationalist left in the Basque Country to form a new
political party with the aim of moving the cause of Basque democracy and
independence forward. We also think that it is essential that the nationalists
of the left wing are allowed to participate in the next elections in May 2011 if
democracy and peace are to stand a chance in the Basque Country.

The Celtic League follows closely what happens politically in the Basque Country
and have been against the systematic banning of left wing nationalist political
parties and other organisations by the Spanish state. On occasion we have also
written to the Spanish and Basque governments to complain about the poor
treatment of prisoners by state institutions and in support of democracy and
freedom of speech in general.

We wish you every luck in your political journey to self-determination and hope
our support and solidarity go some way in helping you achieve your aims.

Yours sincerely

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
General Secretary
Celtic League"


This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary
Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209315884
M: 0044(0)7787318666

rhisiart.talebot@gmail.com
gensec@celticleague.net

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

05/01/11

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works
to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights
human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
socio-economic issues.

TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609

Internet site at:

http://celticleague.net
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/

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kbcl1
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EXTRADITION CASE CONCERNS

Post by kbcl1 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:07 pm

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

EXTRADITION CASE CONCERNS

The Celtic League has received reports that a French appeal court has agreed to
the extradition of a French woman to Spain for her activity in a political party
that is illegal in Spain, but not in France.

The decision to extradite the French woman has been condemned by La ligue
Bretonne des Droits de l'Homme (Breton League of Human Rights). The
organisation says that the decision by the Pau (France) court is made even
worse, because the extradition order comes from a special court in Spain that
has been previously criticised by the Pau court for ignoring accusations of
torture and have even refused to grant prior extraditions. The woman, who the
extradition order has been placed against, is a member of the Batasuna political
party, which is registered in the French state. However the Batasuna political
party, which is registered in the Spanish state, was banned in 2003 and its
leader is still in jail.

The general secretary (GS) of the League has written to the French embassy in
London to express his concern about the decision. The full text of the letter
from the GS can be found below.

"Maurice Gourdault-Montagne
Ambassador of France to the United Kingdom


Dear Maurice Gourdault-Montagne

Appeal court decision, Pau

I am writing to you to express our concern at the decision by the French court
of appeal in Pau, to agree to an extradition order made against a French woman
recently.

From what we can gather, the extradition order was made on the basis that the
French woman - who has not been named - was an active member of the Batasuna
political party in the state of France. Unlike in Spain, in France as you know,
the Batasuna political party is a legal organisation and as such membership is
not prohibited. The French woman in question therefore had not broken any law
and the extradition order should not, in our opinion, have been agreed to.

Moreover, we are aware that the same Pau Court of Appeal has previously refused
to grant prior extradition orders from the Spanish Special court, because the
same courts were thought to have ignored accusations of the torture of previous
defendants.

I feel that if the circumstances surrounding this case are accurate then a
severe miscarriage of justice has taken place and would think that a revision is
necessary.

I would like you to pass on my concerns to the appropriate authority.

Yours sincerely

Rhisiart Tal-e-bot
General Secretary
Celtic League"


This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary
Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:

Tel: 0044 (0)1209315884
M: 0044(0)7787318666

rhisiart.talebot@...
gensec@...

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

16/01/11

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works
to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights
human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
socio-economic issues.

TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609

Internet site at:

http://celticleague.net
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_league/

Cormorant
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Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:04 pm

Re: NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE POLICE RAIDS A REGULAR FEAT

Post by Cormorant » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:31 pm

Is this the "un-named person"?

Aurore Martin, member of the pro-Basque independence party Batasuna.
France has accepted the extradition to Spain of Martin, following the validation of a European arrest warrant.


The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) is an arrest warrant valid throughout all member states of the European Union (EU). Once issued by a member state, it requires the receiving member state to arrest and transfer a criminal suspect or sentenced person to the issuing state so that the person can be put on trial or complete a detention period. Extradition must take place within 90 days of arrest or within 10 days if the arrested person consents to surrender.

Cormorant
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Re: NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE POLICE RAIDS A REGULAR FEAT

Post by Cormorant » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:41 pm

Unlike in Spain, in France as you know,
the Batasuna political party is a legal organisation and as such membership is
not prohibited.


As far as I can ascertain, Batasuna is not a political party in France, being registered as an association.

Cormorant
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Re: NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE POLICE RAIDS A REGULAR FEAT

Post by Cormorant » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:54 pm

Is this all linked?

Columbian FARC?

Madrid, Spain — Police arrested a suspected top computer programmer for the Basque separatist group ETA in France Tuesday, the Spanish Interior Ministry said. The arrest comes a day after the separatist group’s latest cease-fire announcement. Despite the group’s declaration of a permanent general and verifiable cease-fire, police will not stop pressuring ETA, the Interior Ministry said. The programmer is accused of playing a key role in the group’s logistics by designing the computer codes that operatives used to secretly communicate, the ministry said. Police have been on the trail of the programmer for months, the ministry said. And authorities in Spain arrested the programmer’s girlfriend, also suspected of aiding ETA, according to the ministry. Police are also investigating whether the programmer allegedly helped Colombian FARC rebels with computer issues, but they have not confirmed a link with the leftist guerrilla group, the ministry said. In a statement released to the Basque newspaper Gara — where it typically releases information — ETA said Monday that it declared a permanent general and verifiable cease-fire as a "firm commitment towards a process to achieve a lasting resolution and toward an end to the armed confrontation." Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said that the government wants to see a statement from ETA calling for a definitive end, which he said Monday’s statement did not do. "Am I more tranquil today than before? Yes," Perez said Monday. "Is this the end? I would say no." Spain’s Socialist government has repeatedly called for ETA to announce unilaterally a definitive end to its decades of separatist violence, blamed for more than 800 deaths, and a pledge to lay down its weapons. ETA wants Basque independence in northern Spain and southwest France.

Cormorant
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Re: NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE POLICE RAIDS A REGULAR FEAT

Post by Cormorant » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:56 pm

FARC receives most of its funding—which has been estimated to average some $300 million per year—from taxation of the illegal drug trade, ransom kidnappings, bank robberies, and extortion of large landholders, multinational corporations, and agribusiness. From taxation of illegal drugs alone, FARC has been estimated to receive approximately 60 to 100 million dollars per year?

Cormorant
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Re: NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE POLICE RAIDS A REGULAR FEAT

Post by Cormorant » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:34 am

Eta ceasefire: Spain talks tough with weakening separatists

http://tinyurl.com/6ku74ol

Cormorant
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Re: NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE POLICE RAIDS A REGULAR FEAT

Post by Cormorant » Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:51 pm

From the death of their first victim in 1960 the terrorist group has claimed the lives of 829 people.

Over 50 years of the existence of the terrorist group, ETA have left behind 829 dead and thousands injured. They have been ruthless in their actions aimed at forcing the government into recognising the independence of the Basque Country.

The dramatic story of blood and death attributed to the organization began in 1960. The first victim was Urroz Begoña Ibarra, a 22 month old baby girl. A bomb in a locker in San Sebastian station ended her life. ETA has never admitted the action and not even the Franco police attributed it at first, but documents seized in 1992 confirmed that ETA were responsible for the attack.

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Marhak
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Re: NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE POLICE RAIDS A REGULAR FEAT

Post by Marhak » Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:55 pm

Just to balance that (and no one - least of all me - condones senseless violence), can you tell us how many Basque deaths, injuris, false imprisonments, etc, can be attributed to the Madrid governments?

Overall, terrorists, whoever and wherever they are, have their tactics all wrong by targetting innocent people who have no meaningful say in the matter.

Given the time, money and expertise, the western world could be brought to its knees overnight wihout a drop of blood being spilled. All one would need to to do is find the means to bang out every single communications satellite.

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Marhak
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Re: NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE POLICE RAIDS A REGULAR FEAT

Post by Marhak » Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:58 pm

It is to be understood that the above is simply a novel writer's point of view, not a stated intention, but you have to concede that, if someone actually did that, the "civilised" countries would find themselbves back in the 1950s in pretty short order. (Now, to plan and write the novel...).

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