Monday, March 7, 2011

Arrested Basque raped by police

Moment of the arrest of Beatriz Etxebarria
It was already known that at least in one case of the last arrested, the infamous Spanish military police had practiced torture. Sadly, no surprises here, as torture is systematic under Spanish police custody, specially under the Guardia Civil.

But now, as the legal incommunicado period ends, we get to know what happened to the rest: 

Particularly harsh was the suffering of Beatriz Etxebarria, who was raped with a stick by the police agents. According to her own narration to the judge: the policemen put her on a stool, spread vaseline on her anus and vagina, and introduced a stick into her body. 

She was often kept naked and in one occasion thrown freezing water on her. Like the rest, she was kept all the incommunicado period blindfolded and was threatened with the use of electrodes (not really used anymore because it leaves marks). 

Daniel Pastor, the person accused of self-injuries in order to avoid further torture and emotional blackmail, was also threatened with the electrodes and his attorney could see himself the remnants of the glue of the electrodes on his body. Pastor reported that death threats against him and his relatives did not stop even at hospital, happening even before the nurses there, nor in the dungeons of the tribunal, where Guardia Civil agents repeatedly asked to the guards there to be allowed in to continue with the torture.

The infamous practice of "the bag" (repeated asphyxia, similar to waterboarding but with a plastic bag instead of water) has been reported by Beatriz Etxebarria and Iñigo Zapirain. In this last case, the torture was repeated even in his transportation to the jury, in order to "persuade" him of ratifying the police declaration. 

The fourth arrested, Lorena López, is apparently unrelated to the alleged commando and was arrested only to use her as blackmail tool against David Pastor.  While she may have escaped torture, she, as the rest, could all the time hear each other yelling and even vomiting in the police station's dungeons.

The fact that the four arrested formed two couples, was certainly used by the police torturers to emotionally blackmail them. The attorney's tell that it is not common to hear tortures so neatly and that the policemen even put them together in the same cell, so this practice was surely intentional. It seems it was fear of torture against his companion Lorena what caused Daniel Pastor's self-injuring behavior.

Source: Gara.

Update (Mar 10):  a more detailed account of the tortures suffered by Beatriz Etxebarria can be read (in Spanish) in Gara today

Update: full testimony of Etxebarria on the tortures she suffered is available in Spanish (PDF) and in Basque (Berria newspaper). Via Bilbolko Branka.


  1. It's a shame the so-called "Antiterrorist Law" is used to allow tortures to arrested people.

    Of course, the Spanish State always denies torture is still in practice, but the yearly reports of organizations such as Amnesty International say the contrary.

  2. Antiterrorist laws exist, and this is clear in Spain, to allow torture and other type of abuses.

    Torture however is worse than killing in my opinion and only delegitimizes whoever practices it, notably Spanish authorities (as the policemen would not be able to do it without judiciary, executive and legislative support and even direct orders).


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