Comment on this article |
Email this article |
News :: International
Update on Imprisoned Spanish Anarchists
by Eric Ginsburg
Email: drummer2320 (nospam) comcast.net
11 Oct 2004
This is a message from the Anarchist Black Cross Network, a worldwide prison solidarity group.
I did not write this release, though I did edit it.
Greetings to all of you:
We address to all of you to explain the current situation of the six anarchist comrades that were arrested last September 16th, where 5 of them were imprisoned, one freed and another one with an international capture order.
For those of you who might not know, we are referring to the anarchists Rafa, Carol, Joaquin, Igor, Teo (free)... and Iñigo (the one with an international capture order).
Last September 16th 2003, the Guardia Civil carried out six arrests in Barcelona. The operation is signed by the National Court judge Ruiz Polanco.
The first steps of repression started at 4 AM when two apartments are raided; one in the Horta neighborhood and the other in Camp de l’Arpa, which ended in 4 arrests. In one of the apartments where Joaquin and Igor were arrested, we know that the Guardia Civil blocked the street and occupied the building in a military manner, going to the first floor and “opening” the door with an explosive device. Once an indefinite number of agents were inside, equipped with bulletproof vests, spotlight helmets and dressed in plain clothes, the arrested were subdued with blows and insults, and threats. Once they were immobilized, the “brigada de información” (political police) entered and started the interrogation and the searching of the apartment, the scientific brigade taking data, even using a dog trained to find explosives.
After some three hours, they bandaged the arrestees eyes and put them inside a camouflaged vehicle, driven to the Comandancia General of the Guardia Civil in Madrid.
At the same time of this first assault, another one was taking place on the apartment where Carol and Rafa lived, also sleeping on their bed. They already had automatic weapons targeting them by the gang of mercenaries.
What follows is more or less the same that happened to the first two comrades: handcuffed facing the floor, insulted, threatened, and immobilized. After that, they were also put in two cars, eyes bandaged and transferred to the same horror museum.
Four hours after those first arrests, two more took place, one the “Old quarter” where a comrade lived, another one in Raval, where Teo lived.
The first one was the more “quiet” search and arrest, but the most traumatic for his family, since they were in the apartment, and they were the ones that told him that the Guardia Civil was looking for him. Since Guardia Civil knew that the parents were with him, they entered after knocking the door and not showing any weapon, just the searching and arrest warrants. The parents told the Guardia Civil that they wanted to tell their son what was happening. After the searching of his room, two hours later, he is put on a car and also driven to Madrid.
Simultaneously, Teo suffered the assault in a very different manner. They didn´t knock the door or making the door explode, but they are very good at opening the doors with a hammer and entering afterwards. The comrade was awake preparing for his daily things, and his housemate was on his bed. Suddenly they are lying on the floor and subdued by blows. Then a search that will last three hours starts, after having identified the person living with Teo, letting him go with the threat that he can´t be seen on the surroundings if he doesn’t want to get arrested too. When the searching comes to an end, as well as the others, Teo is put on a car, eyes bandaged and handcuffed, and a quick but never ending trip to Madrid starts.
During the transfers to the interrogation cells, all of them were threatened, punched, insulted...
We can talk about the case of Rafa, who during his transfer, he is taken out the car, forced to kneel down and putted a gun on his head, threatened to be shot there. Up today, he is the only one who has reported those tortures by the state mercenaries.
Also, in the case of Igor, he is punched and a gun scrubbed on his head during the transfer.
Everyone more or less suffered, even since the first hours, the threats, blows, humiliations, insults...without even having arrived to the dungeons of democracy.
Being applied Counter-Terrorist Law, they are kept isolated during the maximum of five days, since with “only” three days the aren’t happy enough, and judges are always happy to please the police when they ask for an extension of 48 more hours.
During the 120 hours they are isolated and they are lied to about the people in the cell next to theirs. They are forced to stand for many hours with their arms raised and facing the walls, without letting them sleep, having lights on all time... On the interrogations, different levels of pressure was put on them according to the charges everyone had, it wasn´t an equal treatment.
Besides the physical weakening and the psychological pressure they suffered in the cells, they also encountered the tortures they suffered when being taken to the interrogations. Hooded policemen entering the cells, bandaging the eyes of the comrades, they told them that they had to walk lowering provoking a feeling of physical insecurity to alter their nervous system. They were forced to do countless flexings, crouching for hours while being pushed and threatened to be kicked if they fell to the floor. They were shouted many questions, and those were repeated again and again; threatened with being put a bag on their head, electrodes, the bathtub, to arrest more people they knew; blows and the use of drugs to force down their will...all that was what our comrades suffered at the Guardia Civil facilities, in order to get them to sign statements that were written before their arrests.
After the isolation days passed, and having obtained self-incriminations, they are driven to testify in front in the National Court. It was a Saturday, so they did it in front of the judge on duty Baltasar Garzón. Charged with being an armed group-terrorist organization, planning to break bank windows, and to put explosive devices on different symbols of the State and Capital, illegal possession of weapons, possession of explosive substances and flammable materials, planning to murder the journalist Luis del Olmo, a La Caixa bank manager and of a Catalan police (mossos d’esquadra) spokesperson, planning to do many robberies and sending a package-bomb to the Greek embassy of Madrid on September 8th 2003.
On the streets the situation is also hard, with many hours of uncertainties about the possibility of new arrests, searches, knowing of monitorings and tapped phones of the ones that -for now- are still outside. Besides this troubling us, there was also the certainty that our comrades were being mistreated and kept by the dirtiest and most murderous institutions of these lands, making us suffer the more than fear for ourselves. Facing that hard reality, we did not stop, and being ”informed” very early of what happened, we acted without doubting that those people were not going to be alone. Friends, accomplices in fight, family, lawyers... we started to socialize the brief and confuse news that, under Counter-Terrorist Law, are always brief and confusing, being our only sources the mass-media, who literally cut and pasted the communiqué that was on the web, posted by the press office of the Guardia Civil. At this point, mass media did their work, taking advantage of some “misinformation”, like publishing pictures out of their archives and airing some personal data that had nothing to do with the charges of the National Court.
That same week, a meeting was done where those who felt close to the arrested put together all the information we had, and started to draw lines for acting on the following days. The day of declaring to the judge arrived in Madrid, and there some forty people gathered outside the National Court, presided by the judge in duty, “super” Garzón. After some hours, and after being identified and photographed, the people gathered outside were displaced by the riot police of the National Court. Afterwards, they were almost forced to disband or enter a bar. The news arrived little by little through the lawyers, while on the inside, they went off the cells to testify, some of them still under the isolation regime of the Counter-Terrorist Law. Three of them were able to testify with the lawyers and the other three without them. Nerves, anguish, gossip, speculations...looking for open banks, calls to their familiars so to be able to get cash or to put together all the money that everyone had for a possible bail so they did not spent any more
time in jail...that was what happening in those hours.
Finally, in the afternoon, Teo is freed without bail and with small charges
of damages. After hugs, kisses and greetings, he explains the whole situation and what he knew about the other comrades. After some time, the rest of the familiars and lawyers are given the right to see their relatives in the cells.
There are no more bails, and they are all transferred to the prison of Soto del Real. The comrades were in groups of two in different cells, and Carol remained on the female admission module. They talked to each other through the bars of their cells and when they coincided on the medical checks or other penitentiary steps, until, some days later, they were scattered to many different prisons: Carol to the women prison of Brieva (Ávila). Joaquín to Navalcarnero; Igor stayed at Soto del Real, Rafa to Valdemoro and the other comrade to Aranjuez. As days passed by their familiars started to do the necessary steps to see their imprisoned relatives. The strict communications (letters or phone calls) began to lighten. Nowadays, all of them have access to visiting rooms and vis-a-vis visits; also letters phone calls, more or less limited depending on every prison, and supervised.
There has been some problems for communicating to the outside, thanks to the prison institution trying to isolate the prisoner with the outside; also, we have to think of the FIES-3 regime they are under the charges of “armed group-terrorist organization”, or more accurately, for their political beliefs.
Their situation within the prison is “normal”, in the minds of the FIES regime, having relations with other political prisoners from the Basque National Liberation Movement and with some of PCE(r)-GRAPO, since they are in the same modules.
Life of our comrades goes on with penitentiary routines: gym, reading, letters and in some cases, distance studies programs. Waiting for the next visit to happen, next vis-a-vis, waiting for the next phone call. Even so, they keep strong, and they usually are courageous enough to look forward assuming the situations that made them be anarchists, not resigning their beliefs; many times they have been giving courage to those of us outside.
We do not forget about Teo, who is actually free, since we never know how his situation can end up; even more when last September 17th 2004, he was called again to the National Court, together with the rest of the imprisoned.
Also about Iñigo, actually with that search and capture international orders behind him, with the same charges as the rest of the comrades. We hope he is never caught and imprisoned.
The legal situation has very recent news. Last September 17th, just one year and one day after their arrests, all of them are called to declare again in the National Court. This was mainly done to inform them the exact charges for every one of them, the “organizations or movements which they belong to” and the ranks of involvement and leadership. The strategy of our comrades has been that of not defending about every specific charge; and on the contrary, telling their participation or not in some specific cases; also, saying that they are not in such organization or band called “Extreme Left-Wing and Libertarian Anarchist Movement”, as the summary of the case says. They have also reported the physical and psychological tortures that they suffered during the days they were isolated; also reporting they were denied their right to a lawyer, just being able to talk to a trusting lawyer in the National Court after the interrogations in the Guardia Civil facilities. The case, after having been dealt by two different judges, is now in the hands of the judge of the Instruction Central Court #1 of the National Court, Fernando Grande-Marlasca Gómez.
During these latest days, an appeal was done to look for liberation on bail for all of them until the trial, and another appeal to call for the transfer of Teo´s case from the National Court to an ordinary case in Barcelona, since the charges on him cannot be judged on the premises of terrorism, that the trial has to be done on a lower level. We are waiting for the responses to those appeals, and also for the final date of the trial, which we suppose is going to take place in a year.
We have surely left some things aside, we are sure in some aspects we have not told everything. But at least, our goal was not to leave any aspect unattended.
Our desire is that Rafa, Carol, Joaquin, Igor, Teo, Iñigo, ... are not forgotten, as has happened to many other comrades imprisoned by their beliefs; remembering that we are also prisoners in this 4th level: the streets. Encouraging you and ourselves to go ahead, everyone in the way he or she likes more, doing what we have to and what we believe in, having in mind that this democracy is constantly building new prisons, and that, of course, somebody will have to be an inmate there.
Last, we call for a bit more of conscience, and less of victimization: if you fight, the cells are awaiting for you, because, when have there been no anarchists in prison?: Never. We need to create resistance funds not only when repression strikes us; we need to create support webs against repression and prison.
“We can´t live eternally surrounded by deads and deaths, and if there still prejudices, we have to destroy them... (no one can) cowardly hide within a text, a book, a newspaper which will have no continuity; on the contrary, to go out and strike, attack (...) if not so, what´s it worth for)” (Antonin Arnaud)
Barcelona, October 4th 2004.
CAROLINA FORNÉ ROIG C.P. Brieva Ctra Vicolozano-Brieva s/n 05194 Ávila
RAFAEL TOMÁS I GASPAR C.P. Madrid III Ctra Pinto a San Martín de la Vega, km
5 28340 Valdemoro - Madrid
IGOR QUEVEDO ARAGAI C.P. Madrid V Apdo 200 28791 Soto del Real - Madrid
JOAQUÍN GARCÉS VILLACAMPA C.P. Navalcarnero Ctra Nacional V - km 27,7 28600
Navalcarnero - Madrid
IBAN (International Bank Account Number) ES58 0182 7028 2102 0153 0482
BIC (Bank International Code) BBVAESMMXXX
This work is in the public domain