Thursday, October 29, 2015

Egin newspaper's director, Jabier Salutregi, steps out of jail

Inquisition against Egin journalists
No matter what, the Spanish repression against the Basque People continues endlessly. Worse: some of those repressors like the infamous former superjudge Baltasar Garzón pretend to be on our side and even now and then manage to deceive a few people, like Julian Assange, who has him as attorney.

It was precisely Garzón who led the worst fascist repression against the Basque People since Franco. He was the one who executed the political cause 18/98 against Egin newspaper and related media (the radio Egin Irratia and the investigative journalism magazine Ardi Beltza, and later also its successor Kale Gorria), as well as the Joxemi Zumalabe Foundation.

Egin was a great newspaper, very especially in its latest years, when it had become a key source of alternative information available every morning in your neighborhood. Not only on local affairs but also had come to develop great international analysis, not anymore merely relying on press agencies and their unbearable bias. But the jewel of the crown was the investigative journalism that the newspaper growingly embraced, led by the Basque-Galician journalist Pepe Rei, who complementarily launched the magazine Ardi Beltza (Black Sheep), also closed by Garzón's fascist repression. 

The newspaper was so good that it was referential even in Madrid, as there was nothing else of its kind in all the state of Spain. I am persuaded that one of the main reasons to forcibly close this media was precisely that the investigative journalism they espoused threatened the status quo, largely based on mafia style corruption, which only recently has begun to be more publicly and formally denounced in Spain and Catalonia (but almost not yet in the Basque Country, Navarre excepted).

In 2009, eleven years after its forced closure, the Spanish tribunals ruled that the closure was illegal and unfounded. The damage was done however and the sentences against its journalists, even if reduced, still stood. 

One by one the repressed journalists have completed their sentences. Today Jabier Salutregi, the director of Egin, could finally walk out of jail, expressing his hope for the definitive end of political repression against the Basque People. 

Two other journalists are still behind bars: Karlos Trenor and Joxean Etxebarria. 

Political trial against internationalists

But the repression, no matter what we all hope, is far from ending. For example these days five Basque internationalists (one of them of German origin) are facing a political trial of exactly the same kind that brought Salutregi to jail. 

The Askapena Five

They and their long-lived internationalist association, Askapena (Liberation), are being accused, as usual, of being somehow related to the guerrilla ETA (in unilateral end of struggle since years ago). The accusation is being carried on by the state but also by far-right Spanish ultra-nationalist associations.

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