NEWS REGARDING THE BASQUE COUNTRY

Discussion about what\'s going on outside of Cornwall
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kbcl1
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NEWS REGARDING THE BASQUE COUNTRY

Post by kbcl1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:22 pm

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

ECHR CONDEMN SPAIN FOR DENYING FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Last month the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg condemned the decision by the Spanish courts to refuse Basque political activist Arnaldo Otegi freedom of expression.

Otegi had claimed the Spanish King "protects torture and imposes his monarchical regime on our people through torture and violence". Subsequently a Spanish court found him guilty of insulting the King, handing down a one-year jail sentence and imposing costs. His appeal to the Spanish Constitutional Court was refused so the matter was referred to the ECHR.

The ECHR determined that Otegi was within his rights as a politician to air his grievances against the King.
The Court said Otegi's remarks were;

"made in his capacity as elected member of and spokesperson for a parliamentary group …in the context of the recent closure of the Egunkaria newspaper and the complaint alleging ill-treatment",

and they said his views;

"could be understood as contributing to a wider public debate on the possible responsibility of the state security forces in cases of ill treatment".

The Spanish state was ordered by the Court to pay Otegi €20 000 in compensation and to pay €3 000 for the cost of the proceedings.
Spanish security forces have an atrocious human rights record and torture and extra-judicial killings have been carried out by the State.

Although in recent years Spain has `tried to clean up its act' as recently as last December four civil guard police officers were found guilty of torturing members of an Eta unit that allegedly placed a bomb at Madrid's Barajas airport in 2006.

Spain is notoriously sensitive over its human rights record and the government has refused to allow the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture to publish details of its most recent examination of prisons and police stations (see link):

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_le ... ssage/3572

The full judgement in the Otegi case is available (in French only) at the HUDOC archive here:

http://www.echr.coe.int/echr/en/header/ ... +database/

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

04/04/11

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/
Last edited by kbcl1 on Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kbcl1
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Re: NEWS REGARDINNG THE BASQUE COUNTRY

Post by kbcl1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:23 pm

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

SPANISH COURTS BAN NEW BASQUE POLITICAL PARTY

A new Basque political organisation was banned last week, by Magistrates of the Spanish Supreme Court, from obtaining political party status. The decision provoked a mass demonstration at the weekend.

The organisation – Sortu – is the first political party from the Basque nationalist left to openly reject violence and wants to stand in the forthcoming elections in May 2011. However last Wednesday (24th March 2011) the Spanish Supreme Court ruled against the party by nine votes to seven, which was the first time that a decision of this kind has not been unanimous. However, the Magistrates ruling was that Sortu was just the illegal Batasuna organisation under a different name.

A number of groups and organisations in the Basque Country and internationally have voiced support for the political party, including the majority of Basque trade unions and some political parties. In Brussels, 21 members of the European Parliament signed a document in which they asked the Spanish authorities not to create any additional barriers to Sortu. On the weekend a mass `silent' demonstration took place in the Basque city of Bilbao, which involved tens of thousands of people calling for the normalisation of Basque political and civil society.

In January 2011, the Celtic League expressed its support for the right of left wing nationalist to form a new Basque political party (see link).

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_le ... ssage/3562

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

04/04/11

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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Re: NEWS REGARDINNG THE BASQUE COUNTRY

Post by kbcl1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:24 pm

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

SPAIN RELENTS AND ALLOWS PRISONS REPORT TO BE PUBLISHED

Spain has now agreed to the publication of the most recent report into the inspection of Police Stations and Prisons by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT).

Following an exchange of correspondence with the CPT the Celtic League expressed its concern that the report following a visit in September 2007 had not been published (see link):

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/celtic_le ... ssage/3572

The full report with the Spanish government's response has now been published and can be found on the CPT website at:

http://www.cpt.coe.int/documents/esp/20 ... c288037559

It is normal for these reports to be published approximately eighteen months after the CPT visit.

In this instance there is no explanation why publication took almost four years however the Celtic League believe its interest in the issue was more than a passing embarrassment to the Spanish government!

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

05/04/11

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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Re: NEWS REGARDING THE BASQUE COUNTRY

Post by Cormorant » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:12 pm

Arnaldo Otegi.

Convicted kidnapper...

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Anselm
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Re: NEWS REGARDING THE BASQUE COUNTRY

Post by Anselm » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:33 pm

Mike - it might be helpful if you could give us a succinct account of how the present state of affairs came about. Difficult, I know, to summarize so complicated a history as that of the Basques, but those amongst us given to data-lean expostulations might welcome a little sound information.
Anselm

'Against a promontory my ship' Rump L. Stiltz-Kinn

'With regret I feel that unless you have a serious change of heart your presence at the Mennaye on Cornish Pirates match days is no longer desired.'
Rod Coward
CEO
Cornish Pirates

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Anselm
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Re: NEWS REGARDING THE BASQUE COUNTRY

Post by Anselm » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:55 am

This might help us understand one of the most disturbing trends of recent years. On the one hand, vast numbers of Basques seem determined to concentrate on developing their language and culture, eschewing the use of force. Many people who had participated in armed struggle, or had supported it, are seeking an opening into peaceful forms of political activity. On the other hand, important institutions of the Spanish state, and a number of its political parties, seem determined to stifle both these tendencies.
Anselm

'Against a promontory my ship' Rump L. Stiltz-Kinn

'With regret I feel that unless you have a serious change of heart your presence at the Mennaye on Cornish Pirates match days is no longer desired.'
Rod Coward
CEO
Cornish Pirates

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kbcl1
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Re: NEWS REGARDING THE BASQUE COUNTRY

Post by kbcl1 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 5:20 pm

Cormorant wrote:Arnaldo Otegi.

Convicted kidnapper...
Noting the usual Anglo centric comment, here is a fuller biography of this Basque politician and leader:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnaldo_Otegi

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kbcl1
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Re: NEWS REGARDING THE BASQUE COUNTRY

Post by kbcl1 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 6:18 pm

A useful guide to the Basque people and their country:

http://www.nabasque.org/pdf/The%20Basque%20Country.pdf

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Anselm
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Re: NEWS REGARDING THE BASQUE COUNTRY

Post by Anselm » Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:44 pm

Both these pieces are useful, but we still have to understand why those Spanish institutions and parties are trying to prevent Basque separatists from taking a peaceful road. Why do they try to stifle the development of the Basque press? What do they think this approach will achieve?
Anselm

'Against a promontory my ship' Rump L. Stiltz-Kinn

'With regret I feel that unless you have a serious change of heart your presence at the Mennaye on Cornish Pirates match days is no longer desired.'
Rod Coward
CEO
Cornish Pirates

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Marhak
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Re: NEWS REGARDING THE BASQUE COUNTRY

Post by Marhak » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:10 pm

The same question can be asked of the London government and its tools such as the BBC with regard to their constant suppression of Cornish status, identity and rights. For some reason, places with a small population, but a strong separate identity and far greater antiquity are seen as a threat. In these respects, the Cornish and the Basques have much in common.

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Anselm
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Re: NEWS REGARDING THE BASQUE COUNTRY

Post by Anselm » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:55 am

This is true. However, the behaviour of the Spanish agonists constitutes what somebody (Talleyrand? Shaw?) described as worse than a crime, a blunder. The frivolity with which they constantly try to block off the peaceful road is quite, quite, chilling. The shower in Whitehall and at Westminster know that the worst consequences of their active contempt for us will be the occasional MP stamping his tiny foot and bursting into tears. I sometimes fear that their Spanish counterparts *want* a renewal of the armed conflict.
Anselm

'Against a promontory my ship' Rump L. Stiltz-Kinn

'With regret I feel that unless you have a serious change of heart your presence at the Mennaye on Cornish Pirates match days is no longer desired.'
Rod Coward
CEO
Cornish Pirates

Cormorant
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Re: NEWS REGARDING THE BASQUE COUNTRY

Post by Cormorant » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:39 pm

Or it may be that the Spanish Government, (and people), are wary of "new" political parties twho profess to have a peaceful agenda, but whose membership contain those who have been convicted in the past of terrorist offences?

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Marhak
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Re: NEWS REGARDING THE BASQUE COUNTRY

Post by Marhak » Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:24 pm

Or it may not be anything of the sort.

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Marhak
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Re: NEWS REGARDING THE BASQUE COUNTRY

Post by Marhak » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:40 am

Does anyone know anything about the relationship between the Basques on the French side of the border and the French government?

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Anselm
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Re: NEWS REGARDING THE BASQUE COUNTRY

Post by Anselm » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:46 am

I fear you may be right. The view of informed observers is that those elements in the Spanish state typified by the lamentable Gonzalez and the appalling Aznar will not be satisfied until the Basques have been crushed. Thanks to some courageous journalists, it became clear that such 'organizations' as GAL were nor more than a flag of convenience for acts of violence whose net effect was to prolong the armed conflict. I suppose we have to accept the fact that there are people in power who *need* warfare, not as Clausewitz 'policy by other means', but as the state of affairs in which they can best flourish. That is why they set their faces like flint against any attempt to take the peaceful path. And that is why those people who defy them by nurturing national culture and by insisting on participating in the democratic process deserve our respect.
Anselm

'Against a promontory my ship' Rump L. Stiltz-Kinn

'With regret I feel that unless you have a serious change of heart your presence at the Mennaye on Cornish Pirates match days is no longer desired.'
Rod Coward
CEO
Cornish Pirates

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