Solidarity action for Juanra

The Hague, September 11th 2003

In an action, today at 13.00 hours activists have revealed several monuments in honor of the human rights. This happened at the Hofvijver, a pond right next to the Parliament. These fundamental human rights are being threatened by the so-called 'War on Terror'. The monuments were supposed to be revealed by Minister Donner, the Dutch minister of Justice. Unfortunately, when he was confronted with critical questions from the audience during his speech, the minister reacted by taking a sledgehammer and destroying the monuments...
At the same time the little island in the Hofvijver was occupied, and declared itself to be the 'Free Republic Hofvijver', independent of both the Netherlands and the EU. This seemed to be the only way to still uphold human rights.

We performed this action to protest against the ease with which all kinds of fundamental human rights are being pushed aside as soon as somebody cries 'terrorism'. The immediate cause, and a very good example of this worrying trend, is the imminent extradition of the Catalan activist Juanra. His extradition would mean that the Netherlands will be a direct and willing accomplice to torture and political repression in Spain.

Juanra is an activist from Barcelona, who has always been a vocal and practical opponent of the current power structures in the world. For years he was active in the struggle for affordable housing and social centers in the squatting movement in Barcelona. He also took part in the protests against the World Bank summit in Barcelona, and gained wide acclaim and recognition as the singer and text writer of the political metal-band KOP.
In September 2001, while still in Barcelona, he read in the newspapers that all of a sudden he had become an ETA suspect. Realizing he would now fall under the infamous Spanish anti-terror laws, and thus run a serious risk of being tortured, he decides to go to friends in the Netherlands, where he is arrested in January 2002.

While in custody in the Netherlands, he has time to research into the actual accusations against him. They turn out to be very flaky. It's all based on an incriminating statement which was proved to be given out under torture. And the Spanish authorities do not really go out of their way to seem reliable. There are conflicting statements from different parts of the judicial institutions, and the Spanish prosecutor is even caught out telling outright lies. Up to four times, the accusations are changed drastically. Around the same time, the Spanish government publishes it's view of the anti-globalisation movement. According to the government, these social movements are controlled by terrorist groups, and should be placed on the new European terrorism list...

In the Netherlands, meanwhile, Juanra and his supportgroup try to do everything to explain why Juanra should not be extradited. In the first place because we are convinced that Spain has knowingly fabricated the accusations to create a link between the social movements and ETA, trying to undermine the broad support for these movements. In the second place because Juanra will have no chance at all to have a fair trial in Spain. All so-called ^Óevidence^Ô in this case has been extorted by means of torture, and thus should never be allowed in a trial. But Juanra's case will be heard by the special, and very politically controlled, anti-terror court in Madrid.

The Dutch courts, the ministry of Justice and all political parties, however, have shown for the past one and a half years that they choose toignore these arguments. The information from Spain is taken on face value, and in some cases they even tried to correct the Spanish authorities when it was obvious that they were blundering beyond belief. The consequence of this is that Juanra will be extradited to Spain very shortly.

The Netherlands and the other states of the European Union are parading around, flexing their muscles to show they are 'tough on security'. The diffuse fears of recent years are being used to rapidly and thoroughly limit our rights and freedoms. That is unacceptable!!

Juanra must be released!

We've taken the Dutch state to court. The trial, which is open to the public, will take place on September 24th , in the Court in The Hague.
Time: 10.30 hours. Address: Prins Clauslaan 60