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DID YOU KNOW THAT THE AUTHORITIES IN THE SPANISH STATE CLOSED DOWN NEWSPAPERS? That is the case of the newspaper Euskaldunon Egunkaria.

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Presentation on theme: "DID YOU KNOW THAT THE AUTHORITIES IN THE SPANISH STATE CLOSED DOWN NEWSPAPERS? That is the case of the newspaper Euskaldunon Egunkaria."— Presentation transcript:

1 DID YOU KNOW THAT THE AUTHORITIES IN THE SPANISH STATE CLOSED DOWN NEWSPAPERS? That is the case of the newspaper Euskaldunon Egunkaria

2 The Egunkaria daily was founded in 1990, and until that moment had been the only newspaper published exclusively in the Basque language.

3 Values like independence, pluralism, progressiveness, the Basque national perspective, and the promoting of the Basque language were prominent in Egunkaria’s editorial line. The publishing company was set up in 1990 with contributions of about 1,500 stakeholders.

4 In February 2003 the Spanish National Criminal Court (Audiencia Nacional) proceeded to have the newspaper closed down and 10 people arrested: five of these people complained that they had been subjected to torture during the days they were being held incommunicado in the hands of the Spanish Police (Guardia Civil). Between them, they were remanded in custody for a period totalling 30 months. They have been accused of belonging to ETA, which is baseless and not supported by any evidence whatsoever.

5 In October 2003, the Guardia Civil launched another operation. This time it was against the Martin Ugalde Culture Park and the Egunkaria group of enterprises. 8 people were arrested and held incommunicado. Some days later, Eneko Etxeberria –a lawyer of Egunkaria- was arrested while he was at the National Criminal Court, and held incommunicado.

6 So now there are two trials against Egunkaria coming up: one, the closing down case, and the other one, the financial court case.

7 In the closing down case, the five former Egunkaria executives referred to below have been charged. The Public Prosecutor has called for the case to be dropped once and for all owing to a lack of evidence. Despite this, and without any prosecution having been brought by any individuals or organisations affected, the Spanish National Criminal Court has decided that the trial will be held, basing itself exclusively on the private prosecution brought by two organisations: the Association of Victims of Terrorism (AVT) and Dignidad y Justicia, who are seeking prison sentences of between 12 and 14 years for the 5 Egunkaria executives and years´ ban on holding public office or another position, as well as a ban on standing in political elections. Martxelo Otamendi Editor of Egunkaria Penalty being sought against him: a prison sentence of 14 years. Joan Mari Torrealdai Chairman of Egunkaria’s Board of Directors Penalty being sought against him: a prison sentence of 14 years. Iñaki Uria Chief Executiv of Egunkaria Penalty being sought against him: a prison sentence of 14 years. Txema Auzmendi Secretary of the Egunkaria Board of Directors Penalty being sought against him: a prison sentence of 14 years. Xabier Oleaga Former deputy editor of Egunkaria Penalty being sought against him: a prison sentence of 12 or 14 years.

8 The trial will be held in Madrid, beginning on 15 December.

9 A trial date for the financial court case has not been decided yet. In that case, 8 people have been charged with falsification of accounts and tax fraud (three of them face charges in the closing down case as well); in other words, for financial offences alone. For this, prison sentences totalling 184 years and fines amounting to 235 million euros are being sought. Joan Mari Torrealdai Chairman of Egunkaria’s Board of Directors Penalty being sought against him: a prison sentence of 26 years and 4 months, and a fine of 32,891,200 euros. He faces charges in the closing down case as well. I ñ aki Uria Chief Executive of Egunkaria Penalty being sought against him: a prison sentence of 26 years and 4 months, and a fine of 32,891,150 euros. He faces charges in the closing down case as well. Txema Auzmendi Secretary of the Egunkaria Board of Directors Penalty being sought against him: a prison sentence of 26 years and 4 months, and a fine of 32,891,150 euros. He faces charges in the closing down case as well.

10 Joxe Mari Sors Member of Egunkaria’s Board of Directors Penalty being sought against him: a prison sentence of 26 years and 4 months, and a fine of 32,891,150 euros. Ainhoa Albisu Member of staff in Egunkaria’s Administration Department Penalty being sought against her: a prison sentence of 26 years and 4 months, and a fine of 32,891,150 euros. Mikel Sorozabal Member of staff in Egunkaria’s Administration Department Penalty being sought against him: a prison sentence of 21 years and 9 months, and a fine of 27,265,727 euros. Bego ñ a Zubelzu Member of staff in Egunkaria’s Administration Department Penalty being sought against her: a prison sentence of 17 years and 2 months, and a fine of 21,640,933 euros. Fernando Furundarena Member of staff in Egunkaria’s Administration Department Penalty being sought against him: a prison sentence of 13 years and 3 months, and a fine of 21,167,546 euros.

11 Since the closing down, the Basque Country has witnessed many acts of solidarity as have many places abroad. On the left, a massive demonstration in favour of Egunkaria which took place on 22 February On the right, a call to support Egunkaria in Pamplona’s San Fermin festivities on 10 July of the same year.

12 Among the expressions of support which have taken place abroad, we have to emphasize those in Catalonia… Support for Egunkaria at the Church of Our Lady of Pi (Barcelona) on 10 March 2003.

13 in Madrid… …and in Brussels. On 22 February 2005, 22 members of the European Parliament asked for the file on the Egunkaria Case to be closed. They were members of 4 political groups (the Independence and Democracy Group, European Free Alliance, Greens and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) and an independent member of the parliament. On 19 October 2005, 61 members of the lower and upper chambers of the Spanish Parliament adopted a resolution asking for the file on the Egunkaria Case to be closed.

14 Internationally, the media response to the closing down of Egunkaria may have been even greater than in any other Basque case.

15 What we are facing is a serious curb on freedom of expression, on pluralism of information, and on the right to develop the Basque language and culture, in addition to an assault on human rights as a result of the torture endured. Theo Van Boven In 2004, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture published a report calling on Spain to stop using torture.

16 Please help us spread information about this case and put an end to this injustice.

17 Thank you very much for your attention.

18 FURTHER INFORMATION AVAILABLE AT:


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