Press release Free JuanRa

Amsterdam, February 6th 2002

No new facts in extradition request
Dutch justice department may cooperate in extradition based on a statement gotten by torture.

Today the extradition request came in against Juan Ramon Rodriguez Fernandez, the activist and singer from Barcelona that was arrested in Amsterdam on January 16th. This request, signed by the spanish judge Garzon, is almost exactly the same as the arrest warrant of two weeks ago. But there is one important distinction: suddenly, without stating any new facts, the charges have been changed from 'collaboration' unto "belonging to the ETA organisation and conspiracy to commit murder".

In only two weeks, without changing a letter to the previous text, the charges thus can be raised dramatically. This miraculous inflation appears to follow the logic "if we make the charges heavy enough, they are bound to be taken seriously"...

These accusations are totally absurd, and are in no way whatsoever supported by the 'evidence' presented. This so-called 'evidence' is a collection of unfounded rumours, hear-say and the result of a statement gotten under torture. This statement has long since been withdrawn by the person who gave it.

The literal text of these 'facts' is as follows:
"Juan Ramon Rodriguez Fernandez" was part of a self-named "commando Gorbea" of the terrorist organisation ETA. This commando committed crimes against the lives, integrity and property of persons in the provinces of Barcelona and Gerona between may and july of 2001. Within this organisation he, through another member, delivered information about targets of the terrorist organisation. In concreto, he supplied information about the founder of the organisation CEDADE, to commit an attack on his life.
The information supplied and checked by Juan Ramon Rodriguez Fernandez were found in written form in a house that was used by the released members of the commando on the street Calle Villaroel in Barcelona. Besides that, he worked as a contact person for the leadership of the terrorist organisation ETA outside of Spain".

These so-called 'facts' are then nowhere backed up by any evidence at all. The only thing that is stated, is that the accusation concerning CEDADE is based on the statement of Garcia Jodra, who is in prison in Spain. (The same statement by Jodra, incidentally, says that JuanRa refused to be a contact person for ETA. This is mentioned in the file, but is apparently not as relevant to Spain as the other parts of this statement).

Garcia Jodra made this statement during the infamous first 5 days of arrest, in which people are kept in total isolation in Spain. According to him, and his doctor, he was tortured during this period. Dozens of cases like these are uncovered in Spain each year. He has since refuted his statement before a court.

Apart from that, it still remains a mystery why JuanRa would have to pass on the address of the chairman of CEDADE. This man is well-known as the leader of this neo-nazist group, he runs a bookshop where "Mein Kampf is sold", and his address can be found on many anti-fascist websites, not to mention the phone book...

All this is nothing new for Spain. A great many organisations, newspapers and radio stations have been forbidden by decrete in the last four years, without one of these cases ever even reaching a court.

What is new, however, is that the Netherlands may well be cooperating in an extradition on extremely shady grounds. An extradition based on torture, and to a country that regularly violates democratic civil rights.

Of course, we will resist this. JuanRa is being prosecuted on the basis of what he is: a catalan activist, active in the fields of squatting, antifascism, antiglobalisation and against the repression of the spanish state against leftwing opposition.

The Netherlands must not cooperate with this political extradition!!!

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