Basque journalists tortured

"They treated us like rats", otamendi, head of egunkaria newspaper closed for alleged links with eta, said after being released on bail

Today, after almost a week in custody, five days of which were spent under a no-contact order, the fourth of ten basque journalists was released on bail (spanish government under prere). What was to be suspected has come to pass: the ten journalists arrested late last week by the guardia civil as part of the closure of the "basque daily newspaper" (euskaldunon egunkaria) were, according to their own statements, tortured, which should offer a lesson in this country for the softening of the ban on torture attempted by the conservative side (back to the middle ages?).

"They treated us like rats", explained martxelo otamendi, head of egunkaria. "I was beaten and they used the bolsa on me several times." in the process, a person’s air is squeezed out of them that they almost suffocate. The jesuit and radio journalist juan mari torrealdei, who is still imprisoned, was even worse off. He spent three days on the stucco "beaten to a pulp" beaten to a pulp. That he had anything to do with eta was also doubted by his friend patxi azpitarte, the vicar general of the diocese in san sebastian, on radio euskadi this morning.

Otamendi thanked all those who made it possible for egunero to have a basque-language newspaper on the newsstands the day after the raid. He expressed special gratitude to the more than 100,000 people who.000 people who flooded san sebastian with their protest last saturday. The demonstration against the attack on press freedom and the basque language was one of the largest in recent basque history. Amnesty international’s london headquarters is now also calling for clarification. The interior ministry wants to investigate the accusations, but a spokesman said that alleged allegations of torture were part of eta’s repertoire.

So to the traps that the anti-torture committee (tat) indicated on monday, there are probably several to be added again. In its new annual report, tat charged that in 2002 there were 127 cases of abuse and torture, including sexual assault. Five men and one woman were sexually abused.

The ten arrested journalists work at egunkaria or were involved in its foundation 13 years ago. Judge juan del olmo ruled the "preliminary suspension" (up to five years), because the eta had founded it. He accused those released on bail of "support of eta" and that those still in prison are even "eta members". Del olmo refers to 10 documents that were found at eta 10-13 years ago and have long been used in other cases. Reading them, it is clear why they have not been used against egunkaria so far. They only analyze the political situation around the founding of the newspaper. So it is not surprising that no journalist is accused of anything concrete.

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