protests in support of the political prisoner Juanra continue
Last Friday, February 14, about 100 people gathered in front of the Dutch
consulate in the city of Barcelona. The protest gathering took place in
order to protest against the extradition process that the Dutch state
is pursuing against the political prisoner Juanra. The demonstration was
at the same time meant to be a protest against the repression of imprisoned
Catalan activists who are being persecuted by the Spanish state.
The protest, which was originally meant to be a rally, spontaneously
turned into a demonstration through the streets surrounding the consulate.
A large banner was carried with the text "No to the extraditions.
No to the political trials. Freedom for Juanra.", signed by RESCAT,
a collective that engages itself for political prisoners (specifically
in Catalonia). Other slogans were also shouted against the extradition,
against the torture of political prisoners, for the liberation of political
prisoners and for international solidarity.
The demonstration ended at the door of the consulate, where a communiqué
was read expressing support for Catalan political prisoners, in which
the push from right-wing Spain to violate and limit even further the rights
of political prisoners was criticised. A copy of it was handed to the
Dutch consul. The demonstration dissipated in front of the consulate door.
Juanra was arrested 400 days ago
As of February 20, it was 400 days ago that Juanra was arrested. He was
arrested in the Dutch city of Amsterdam, on account of an international
search and arrest warrant written by the Spanish state, which had been
initiated by the [Madrid] 'superjudge' Baltasar Garzón. The operation
took place in the context of the European justitial cooperation unit 'Eurojust'.
It has been 400 days that Juanra has been unable to exercise his right
to the presumption of innocence [until guilt is proven], and all that
time, a looming extradition and a charge of cooperation with an armed
gang have been hanging over his head. This while no direct evidence against
him has been submitted to the Dutch authorities. The Dutch state's procedure
against Juanra, which is constantly under pressure from the Spanish authorities,
goes on, even though there still remain many unanswered questions.
At the moment, Juanra is in the extra high security prison in Vught (in
the south of the Netherlands), waiting for the verdict in the appeals
case that he brought agains the decision of the Amsterdam district court
to declare his extradition permissible. That verdict from the Supreme
Court is expected this coming March 11.