[Pnews] Accused ETA Militant Extradited to Spain Despite Torture Claims
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Mar 23 11:17:31 EDT 2017
Accused ETA Militant Extradited to Spain Despite Torture Claims
23 March 2017
Swiss officials announced on Thursday they would extradite a former
Basque politician and purported ETA activist to Spain after denying her
request for asylum given allegations she was brutally tortured while in
a Spanish prison.
Nekane Txapartegi had fled to Switzerland after a 2007 conviction for
supporting the Basque separatist group ETA's activities, later claiming
asylum on the basis that she had been suffocated with a plastic bag,
raped, beaten and subjected to electroshock treatment while in a Spanish
prison after a 1999 arrest.
At the time of her arrest, Txapartegi was an elected city councilor in
Asteasu in the Basque region of northern Spain and was later elected
mayor while still in prison awaiting trial.
After several years underground in Switzerland, Txapartegi was arrested
in in Zurich, Switzerland in April 2016 on an international warrant and
has been in detention awaiting the judgment in her asylum request case.
The World Organization Against Torture had intervened in Txapartegi’s
case noting that her confession of supporting illegal ETA activities had
been extracted via torture, allegations supported by a prison doctor who
examined Txapartegi after her detention and found injuries consistent
In 2010 a Spanish court found four police officers guilty of torturing
suspected ETA militants, sentencing them to prison and ordering them to
pay compensation to their victims.
The ETA was founded in 1959 in response to Spanish dictator Francisco
Franco’s brutal repression of Basque culture and independent politics.
For over 40 years the ETA carried out clandestine attacks on police and
military officials as well as Francoist politicians, sometimes killing
civilians in the process.
The ETA was eventually labeled a terrorist organization by both the
Spanish and U.S. governments for its fight to achieve Basque independence.
In 2011, the ETA declared a permanent ceasefire.
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