Tuesday, May 20 at 1 p.m.:
Announcement of the Supreme Court's decision about the possible
extradition of Juanra to Spain;
Action in Amsterdam;
By the statue of Multatuli on the Torensluis in Amsterdam there will
a demonstration against torture in that country. As part of this action,
Multatuli's head will be covered with a large plastic bag with the
slogan "Breathtaking Spain".
The work of this writer and activist against colonialism, abuse of power,
and arbitrary treatment is still relevant. The parallels with how the
Spanish government deals with opposition are striking, we could not find
any better description of the path of justice in Spain than in _Max Havelaar_:
BAILIFF. Your Honor, there is the man who has murdered Barbertje.
JUDGE. That man must hang. How did he do it?
BAILIFF. He cut her into little pieces and salted them.
JUDGE. In so doing he has done very wrong. He must hang.
LOTHARIO. Your Honor, I did not murder Barbertje! I fed her and clothed
her and took care of her. There are witnesses who will declare that I
a good man, and no murderer.
JUDGE. Man, you must hang! You are exacerbating your crime with
self-conceit. It does not suit someone who ... has been accused of
something, to consider himself a good man.
LOTHARIO. But, Honor, there are witnesses who will corroborate it. And
since I am now accused of murder ...
JUDGE. You must hang! You have murdered Barbertje and salted her, and
you are taken with yourself... three capital offences! Who are you, lady?
LADY. I am Barbertje.
LOTHARIO. Thank God! Honor, you can see that I have not murdered her!
JUDGE. Hmmm... yes... true! But the salting?
BARBERTJE. No, Honor, he did not salt me. On the contrary, he has done
much good for me. He is a noble man!
LOTHARIO. You hear it, Honor, she says that I am a good man.
JUDGE. Hm... the third point still stands. Bailiff, lead this man away
from here, he must hang. He is guilty of self-conceit.
Clerk, cite the precedent of Lessing's patriarch in the premises.
Why a plastic bag?
The plastic bag over the head is a notorious method of torture that is
used by the Spanish police in interrogating political prisoners. Torture
is still widespread.
And meanwhile, Spain is making every effort to take more political prisoners.
In the run-up to the local and provincial elections in the Basque Country
and Navarra, 225 party lists have been prohibited in as many towns, which
means that in some of these towns, the governing party is the only one
permitted to participate in the election.
They are also working on a new law to make it a punishable offence to
protest against wars that Spain is participating in. The massive resistance
of the population against the war in Iraq is thus an opportunity for the
government to put everyone on trial in military court for "demoralisation"...
This is the first expansion of powers of the military courts since the
end of the dictatorship in 1975.
Whether it is a matter of environmental activists and fishermen protesting
against oil spills, anti-globalisation activists or migrants, the Aznar
government of Spain knows only how to respond with repression and even
Minister Donner, and with him the Netherlands, will be complicit
The Netherlands is co-operating with this directly, with the easy excuse
that Spain is a member of the EU after all, and that it will all work
out in the end. Since the beginning of last year, the Catalan activist
and singer Juanra Rodriguez has been detained here on an accusation that
is derived solely from torture. The court last year found that to be no
barrier to declare extradition permissible. Minister Donner will, should
he sign the extradition order, be directly co-operating with political
oppression and torture.
This must not happen!!!
What can you do?
- Participate in the statue action!!! You can both come on Tuesday
at 1 p.m. to the Torensluis in Amsterdam (that is a bridge over the
Singel, by Raadhuisstraat) as well as do an action in your own town. You
can find texts to place by a statue with a plastic bag over its head at
It would be ideal if you can e-mail us or call us before Tuesday morning
at 9 as to which statues have been done, if possible then with a digital
photo as well...
- Sign the online petition at http://www.freejuanra.org/en/petitie.php
Support Organisation Free Juanra