30 October-5 November
Aurore Martin imprisoned for her political work.
The Collective of Basque political refugees show their support for the process.
Aurore Martin imprisoned for her political work
Aurore Martin, a Batasuna militant, was arrested by the French police and handed over to Spanish authorities, who brought her before a judge of the Spanish National Court who ordered her to be imprisoned.
Last Thursday French police arrested the Batasuna militant Aurore Martin due to an arrest warrant issued by the Spanish National Court. Hours later she was handed over to the Spanish Guardia Civil to be transferred to Madrid where she appeared before a judge.
Judge Ruiz of the Spanish National Court sent the Abertzale militant to prison based on a single accusation: her political activity. She is accused of having participated in three political acts, appearing twice before the press and at a meeting. The sentence could lead to up to twelve years in prison.
Aurore Martin is a political militant, member of Batasuna in Iparralde (the part of the Basque Country that is under French administration), where the young abertzale was born and lives, and officially has “French nationality”. In spite of Batasuna being banned in the Spanish state in 2003; in the French state Batasuna continues to be a legal organization and their activities have never been prohibited.
Aurore Martin was living a completely public life and carried out her political work with complete normality. At the time of her arrest she was actively participating in the organization of a conference that is being promoted by Bake Bidea and that will take place next December in Bayonne. This initiative has the backing of some of the participants in the Conference of Donostia.
The reactions and criticisms of the arrest were not long in coming. From both sides of the frontier there were many voices expressing their criticism of the police action. Among those that stood out were those of numerous French elected officials of various political sensibilities. Many members of the PS, the party governing the French state, made public a communiqué in which they demanded the immediate release of Aurore Martin.
Press conference to denounce the arrest of Aurore Martin. In it took part, representatives of PCF, Modem, UMP, EE-Les Verts, NPA, Batasuna, AB, EA, EAJ-PNB, and PS with social end trade-unions reoresentatives of Iparralde.
The news was also widely covered in the French press, which in one case even put it on the front page.
The Abertzale Left considers the arrest of Aurore Martin to be a very serious act. With this arrest and the declarations last week by Manuel Valls, the government of Francois Hollande is going against the resolution of the conflict and a scenario of peace.
The society of the Basque Country is committed to a peace process. Also in the international sphere they are taking steps in favour of the right to decide. Meanwhile the Spanish and French states are moving in the opposite direction.
Aurore Martin wasn’t hiding; she was an active militant of the Abertzale Left and participated in the “Bake Bidea” movement. And she was working on the organization of a forum for peace that will take place December 15th in Bayonne.
What the then Home Office Minister Gueant didn’t do while Sarkozy was president, has been carried out by Minister Valls in times of the socialist Hollande.
This arrest is a very serious act that goes against the recommendations of the Declaration of Aiete. Her arrest is a grave attack against the peace process, against a political militant who was working on organizing a peace conference.
All arrests and all the repression must end now since they go against the resolution of the conflict. The Paris government has to set aside this path and adopt specific solutions towards the resolution of the conflict.
The Collective of Basque political refugees show their support for the process
Numerous members of the collective of refugees appeared before the press to show their firm commitment to the new time open in the Basque Country and with the resolution of the conflict.
The members of the collective read a document which covered their reflections and expressed their adhesion to the demonstration with the slogan “On the path to peace, respect for the rights of Basque political prisoners”, which will take place next Saturday in Bayonne.
In their understanding, there are two main challenges at this moment that the process must confront: “On the one hand, advancing in the political process will bring with it national recognition and the right to decide and, on the other hand, definitively overcome the hardest consequences of the conflict.” They expressed their desire to contribute in both of these matters.
They consider that the forces contrary to peace are trying to block the situation because they are afraid of a fair and democratic solution. They are trying to stop giving a release to the consequences of the conflict; they are trying there to make the political commitment of the Abertzale Left fail. Due to this situation, the Collective of Basque Political Refugees expresses their will to take more audacious steps from an agreement with the states or unilaterally, they are not going to allow any blockage. They are convinced that all of us must implicate ourselves so that the blockage doesn’t settle in and to free up the conditions created.
The collective of refugees has begun to take steps on this path. As their manifesto concludes: They are going, with the rest of the Basque citizenry, to live, to be free, to win.
Madrid accepts that they don’t comply with their plan on human rights: The Spanish government accepted that they continue to not comply with their own plans on Human Rights in the prevention of torture while holding prisoners incommunicado. It is reflected that way in the draft presented Wednesday in Congress.
Obstacles are denounced in visiting Arnaldo Otegi in the Logroño prison: A friend of Arnaldo Otegi denounced that last weekend prison officials and the Guardia Civil at the Logroño prison tried to impede the visit that she had with the leader of the Abertzale Left. She could finally have her visit but it was reduced to fifteen minutes. We must denounce this new violation of the rights of this Basque political prisoner.