Since 1998, a number of political, social, youth and prisoner rights organisations, as well as newspapers and magazines have been the subject of legal proceedings, illegalisations or closures by the Spanish courts. These processes, criticized by multiple human rights agencies and broad sectors of Basque society, have led to the arrest, prosecution, persecution, ban, and imprisonment of organizations or individuals in the Spanish State.
Nowadays there are 65 people in prison as consequence of such trials against political organizations. This is the case of Batasuna, Ekin, Xaki, Gestoras pro Amnistia, Askatasuna, Xaki, Jarrai, Haika or Segi or media like the newspaper Egin. Different summaries were opened, arrests were made, there were imprisonments and allegations of ill-treatment and torture in processes such as the Basque-written daily newspaper Euskaldunon Egunkaria, whose heads were eventually acquitted. The people prosecuted in the court case against Udalbiltza were also acquitted. In 2009 Arnaldo Otegi, Rafa Diaz, Miren Zabaleta, Arkaitz Rodriguez, Sonia Jacinto and 6 other activists were arrested and the first 5 were later on condemned for their role as drivers of the Strategical Debate on the Abertzale Left. Their arrests and condemnation raised important protests in the Basque Country.
Torture and ill-treatment has been denounced several times on these procedures. The case of Egunkaria’s chief editor Martxelo Otamendi has been considered by the ECHR, that condemned in 2012 the Kingdom of Spain for failing to investigate Mr Otamendi’s torture complaints. The court recalled the Spanish negative to apply the long standing recommendations of the CPT (To assure the right to be assisted by a lawyer of your own choice in private and the right to a medical examination by a doctor of your own choice must be guaranteed. Also the right to communicate to a family member the fact and place of detention must be guaranteed)
In October 2013 two more political trials took place in the National Court in Madrid. One judged 34 members of the leadership of Herri Batasuna, Euskal Herritarrok and Batasuna and the other took to court 40 members of the Youth movement. Both trials derived from multiple police raids against political and youth organisations. The only proves against the accused were their public political activities and meetings, no violence actions or planning of actions whatsoever.
The 40 members of the youth movement were acquitted in an unprecedented ruling by the Spanish Court that admitted their self-incriminatory declarations under incommunicado detention, were at least suspicious. The ruling on case 35/02 condemned several activists and ordered the seizure of 111 Herriko Tabernas.
In September 2014 a new trial started against 28 members of the youth movement, again under the accusation of being Segi members, 8 of them were condemned as members of a terrorist organisation with no prove, other than their political activity.
Two trials are due to start in autumn 2015, one against internationalist organisation Askapena and the other against Batasuna.