The five youths arrested in Loiola are part of a much larger group of 28 being tried for their political activism and ideology at the Spanish Inquisition (Audiencia Nacional) these days in Madrid.
The trial began yesterday with the victims of political persecution turning their backs to the court in signal of non-recognition and showing banners in demand of repatriation of Basque prisoners.
After an hour and a half of suspension the farce trial continued at close doors with the declarations of the victims of persecution, most of whom have denounced tortures that forced them to sign self-inculpatory declarations.
Ander Maeztu reported systematic beatings and the so-called "bag" torture (asphyxia by putting a bag on your head). Garazi Autor denounced sexual agressions and beatings.
Izaskun Goñi, who knew for two years before her arrest that she was being under persecution, reported the anguish suffered for all that time expecting that any night (it's almost always by night) police entered her home and arrested her, beginning the much feared "long journey". When it finally happened she suffered a panic attack.
Among the "evidence" against her is her participation in a protest against the murder of baker Anger Berrueta by a policeman in Pamplona in 2004.
Ohiana López and Eneko Villegas reported systematic beatings and forced physical exercise up to extenuation. They say that their declarations are totally false.
Ibon Esteban and Egoi Irisarri also denounced tortures. Esteban managed to identify one of his torturers and showed a photo of this vile man to the court. Irisarri declared that in Canillas [police station] I went through hell.
The only one not reporting tortures this first day of the trial was Endika Pérez, who was arrested by French police in the Northern Basque Country, soon after taking part in a sit-in in Izpura precisely to denounce the possibility of being arrested and deported to Spain.
Second day of the hearing
The day began with the court sending to prison the five citizens arrested in Loiola, claiming risk of evasion, action that was opposed by the defense on the grounds that they were all the time localized and never attempted such evasion.
Then the narrations of torture sessions continued:
Imanol Beristain reported being subjected to forced postures, beatings and kickings, sexual aggressions. He reported to have lost consciousness because of the pain, waking up drenched in sweat.
Rubén Villa declared that he began to be tortured already in the Bilbao police station. He was told, sarcastically, that he could relax, that they would not pull out his fingernails nor bury him in quicklime (as happened to two ETA members decades ago, after being captured by the Spanish police). Then they dragged him to a window, pulling half his body out and said: this is the last time you will breathe the air of Bilbao. The forensic doctor did not even pay attention to his complains.
Xabat Moran explained: they manage to make your head crack... your body is still yours but your head they own it. I did not control my own actions.
Moran denounced forced postures, beating, "the bag" (asphyxiation) and insinuations that they were raping his girlfriend in the nearby room. Just an hour before being sent to the instruction judge he was naked and in state of shock in the very room he had been tortured, being that the reason he signed a false declaration.
Ainara Ladrón reported "hell" in the journey to Madrid: they beat me, they hit me with their fists on my ribs, they pushed me against the window and yelled at me all the time. She also denounced sexual aggressions in the police station, rejecting what she signed then, even if this declaration was not self-inculpatory. She has requested to skip the bulk of the trial sessions on the grounds of being pregnant, request that has been granted.
Ikoitz Arrese, Saioa Zubiaur and Xabier Bidaurre also reported tortures in the incommunicado period of their arrest. Arrese denounced a fake execution, with a policeman placing a gun on her head. Among other tortures, Bidaurre reported that he was threatened with the rape of his companion.
The farce trial continues today.