Ateak Ireki publishes today (PDF in Spanish) an interview obtained clandestinely inside the prison of Valdemoro (Madrid, Spain). This kind of inside-the-prison interviews are very difficult to make although not impossible (I made one myself years ago), for that reason they are particularly interesting. I offer here some selected excerpts:
How long can you be in prison without trial?
For us it can be us much as four years (...)
I am accused of being member of Askatasuna [Freedom], association for the defense of political prisoners and denounce of repression. Police considers that all my activities are because I was member of Askatasuna, and I must remind here that for the Audiencia Nacional [Spanish special political tribunal] this organization is part of ETA and therefore they consider it illegal.
In brief, I am accused for my public activity at Apurtu.org network, for editing the magazine Kronika Nafarroa (Navarre Chronichle), for publishing videos online on prisoners' situation, denounces of tortures, police violence, etc. They even want to charge me with support of terrorism for filming welcome acts to former prisoners. (...) It has been a direct attack against freedom of speech.
|Pitu (photo and prison address)|
How do attorneys see the case?
It is very bad. All my activities were open, I never hid. Therefore, if they consider that writing in a web page, recording an interview with a prisoner's relative or taking part in a radio program is a 'terrorist crime', then I am guilty and they have all the evidence against me. These are the consequences of the 'all is ETA' [judicial doctrine]: any compromised and dissident political activity can be criminalized and its authors imprisoned on the broad pretext of 'being ETA members'.
(...) it is most likely that I will have to endure preventive prison until trial, what is a barbarity because I would be paying a prison sentence without even having ever been sentenced.
We are classified as FIES [special following inmate files] prisoners, they consider us dangerous and for that reason we have many restrictions that other prisoners do not have. (...) In prison the hardest thing anyhow is that every day is exactly the same, very monotonous and boring. (...) Being the 24 hours of the day jailed with other 130 people in a reduced space, in a situation of overcrowding and lack of hygiene, is quite hard. But anyhow I want to clarify that I am quite animated, with enough energies to go ahead. (...)
I was actively implicated in promoting the Peace Process in the Basque Country and therefore each step in the good direction is cause of happiness for me. Even here in prison I perceive the illusion and hope lived in our country and that gives me energy and strength to keep resisting. I am very much enthusiastic. I believe that we are going through the good path even if the Spanish and French states are trying to boycott the Process systematically with arrests, tortures, trials, sentences, dispersion, illegalization threats, etc.
In this context, which are the steps that the Spanish state must undertake to advance in relation to the situation of political prisoners?
(...) to end with dispersion, liberate, as the law dictates, those who are severely ill, those who have paid their full sentences but are kept in prison following the 'Parot doctrine', would be a clear and huge step in favor of the Peace Process and would save lots of suffering. I think it is something unavoidable for a government if they truly want to seek, in a honest and sincere manner, a satisfactory solution for all and approach a Peace scenario.