Euskal Herria Indymedia | 24.02.2003 21:11
On February 20, 2003 the only remaining basque daily newspaper "Euskaldunon Egunkaria" was shut down and 10 of its staff are arrested for "supporting an armed group".
For the last seven years, several judicial orders are pursuing with the excuse of erradicating terrorism, different legal associations the spanish government points out as those of the "friends of the terrorists". On February 20, 2003 the only remaining basque daily newspaper Euskaldunon Egunkaria was shut down, and 10 of its staff are arrested for "supporting an armed group". The web site was also closed (German | Spanish | Italian | French | Interview (sp) | Public TV (eu)]
First, the Sapnish judge Garzon started a prosecution against AEK, an organization that organized night-schools for teaching basque language to unemployed people. After this attempt Garzon closed Egin, a proindependence and leftwing newspaper.
According to Garzon, both AEK, and Egin were part of a very complex network of small companies that obtains money for ETA. Till now nobody is been really processed for terrorism after this processes.
Later, Garzon, prosecuted the Joxemi Zumalabe Fundazioa, a foundation for the support of social mouvements, in this case the relationship with prodissobedience non violent direct action groups, was the reason. Garzon stated, it was ETA's objective to promote civil dissobedience in the basque country, on the basis police arrested one member of ETA that had a letter by which he stated he was in support of civil dissobedience.
Later on, a group of people were arrested, accused of creating a kind of international support group for ETA. It's name was Xaki and according to the media it was like "ETA's" external affair ministry. But the supreme court found no grounds for this accusation.
Garzon, suspended the activities of Zabaltzen, a publishing house of basque books, again, "Zabaltzen" was been accused of having a double activity, but then the "Supreme" court alleged no ground for such accusations.
Finally Garzon, has suspended the legal activities of the political party Batasuna.
These arrests get to the front line of corp. media in Spain and a lot of support, by the gouvernment but when the reasons provided are dismissed by higher courts, they only occupy a small feature in those same newspapers.
On top of that, spanish right wing polititians have shown a strange sense about how justice works. When the newspaper Egin was closed, Aznar (Spanish prime )said minister "who thought we wouldn't dare?". Strange way to interpret the independence of the justice in Spain.
Five years after of the forced dissapearance of Egin, a new operation of the Police force against "Euskaldunon Egunkaria" by order of the judge Juan del Olmo of the High Court. There are ten people in prision and the premises of the newspaper in Bilbo, Gasteiz, Donostia, Iru*±ea have been sealed and the registry continues in the central premises of Andoain. It have been registered also private lodgings, and the premises of the federation of Ikastolas in Donostia and the magazines Jakin and Argia. The former have not been sealed. The people held by the Police Forces are, Xabier Oleaga, old worker of the sealed newspaper and presently the person in charge of comunication of the Federation of Ikastolas. The Civil Guard has registered as well the office of this person in the Federation of Ikastolas. Martxelo Otamendi, director of the metropolitan newspaper, Pello Zubiria, director of the weekly magazine "Argia" and first director of "Euskaldunon Egunkaria". I*±aki Uria, advisor-delegating of the newspaper. Joan Mari Torrealdai, director of the publishing company. Xabier Alegria, Fermin Lazkano, Luis Goya, the Txema Auzmendi assistant director of Herri Irratia (Popular Radio) and Inma Gomila, arrested this morning in Oiartzun. This arrest seems to be the last one. Inma Gomila had responsibilities in the management of the metropolitan newspaper. After the haltings, this dawn, the Police Forces proceded to the registry of theprivate home of the arrested ones and diverse facilities of "Euskaldunon Egunkaria".
In the central premises, in Park Martin Ugalde, the search has lasted more than six hours. The operation continues open and have participated on it 300 people from the Police Forces. The charges are of colaboration with and belonging to armed band through the mercantile society Egunkaria S.A, Egunkaria Sortzen S.A. and Egunkaria Sortzen S.L.
According to right wing Polititians as the minister of justice of Spain, "this is a clear proof that egunkaria is linked to ETA. THey have not waited for the judge's decision. On the other hand, members of basque gouvernment have condened this procedure, as part of the "exception" state put up by right wing spanish gouvernment.
The workers of "Euskaldunon Egunkaria" have made an assembly in front of the premises of the newspaper in Andoain. At the end of that assembly, the workers have reaffirmed their commitment to continue producing a newspaper in euskara "with the name from Egunkaria or another one".
One of the arrested Txema Auzmendiis a jesuit priest, and his congregation has issued a note, reclaiming Txema's freedom. They remembre that Txema has always been in support of those that are worse of in society. Txema was part of Egunkaria's direction commitee since he was a big supporter of basque culture. The jesuits ask also ETA to disarm and abandon the armed struggle.
As a result of this operation against the Egunkaria newspaper it has been closed also its Web page, and paralelly, has left without presence in Internet company of services in the plazagunea network, http:www.plazagunea.org, and www service of webmail, www.euskalerria.org. Additional Inforamtion: sustatu.com Weblog in basque language
gara.net Gara newspapers website giving up to date coverage
Euskal Herria.info Portal en favor de la libertad de expresi**n
Argia Weekly magazine in basque language. Pello Zubiria, one of its workers has been arrested.
Euskal Herria Indymedia