8 years of prison for doing politics!
Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country. On Friday, December 16th, 21 year-old Ekaitz Samaniego, received the confirmation of the sentence issued by the Audiencia Nacional (Spanish exceptional high court from Franco’s times): he is sentenced to 8 years of prison, 2 for breaking an overhead power line of a train and another 6 more for being member of the political organization SEGI. In other words, he will be taken to prison for political reasons. Right now, an arrest warrant has been issued and he can be caught at any time.
SEGI is a Basque pro-independence and revolutionary left-wing organization. Although in 2002 it was classified as a “terrorist organization” by Spanish courts, the work of this group has always been transparent and focused on the worries of the Basque youth.
Nowadays, whereas after the statement of ceasefire announced by ETA in October the Spanish government should be opening doors for dialogue and negotiations, they prefer to imprison dissident ideas. Under the theory “everything is ETA” more than 120 people are right now serving sentences for doing political work. More than 180 people are still waiting for trials in the Audiencia Nacional for the mere act of putting into practice their civil and political rights.
This should have never happened, but now more than ever, it is out of place. While the dominating conversation in our society is to overcome the conflict and the search for solutions, the Spanish state continues applying a law of war. While the vast majority of society talks about taking positive steps within the penitentiary system, more people are taken to prison. And this is the case of Ekaitz, who will be arrested for his political activity.
In this sense, we demand the following:
− The suspension of all political trials.
− The immediate release of all those imprisoned for their political and social activity.
− The legalization of all political and social groups outlawed in the last decade.
− The abolition of the state of emergency violating civil and political rights.
Vitoria-Gasteiz, January 2012