Don’t play the ball?

Wednesday saw the official launch of the Don’t Extradite the Basques campaign in support of Iñaki de Juana and Arturo ‘Beñat’ Villanueva.

Iñaki is wanted for extradition over disputed claims a letter read at a Basque gathering including the phrase “Aurrera bolie” (kick the ball forward) was written by him.

Villanueva’s extradition request is based on claims he was a member of a banned Basque youth group Jarrai (succeeded by SEGI) though his membership was during the period it was a legal organisation.

The professional looking website is supported by a Twitter and Facebook presence and the traditional online petition’s first ten signatories are flagged as:

1) Fearghas Ó hÍr (veteran civil rights campaigner)
2) Bairbre de Brún (Sinn Féin MEP)
3) Pádraigín Drinan (Human Rights lawyer)
4) Eamonn McCann (NUJ National Executive member)
5) Bobby Storey (Chairperson, Belfast Sinn Féin)
6) Gerry McConville (Chair, Falls Community Council)
7) Fr Des Wilson (west Belfast priest and community activist)
8 ) Michael Culbert (former Antrim and St Gall’s Football Manager)
9) Pól Deeds (Coordinator, An Droichead)
10) Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí (RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta presenter)

  • RG Cuan

    Spain’s extradition demands are very dubious indeed. Iñaki has served his time and Beñat is simply a political activist.

    The latest from Beñat’s case also makes interesting reading as the Judge seems clear that “the principle of non-retrospectivity is being breached”.

  • 6countyprod

    Anyone got a link for a petition to extradite the Basques? We have more than enough ‘freedom fighters’ already!

  • RG Cuan

    I’d think it would be better to read the info on the website 6countyprod before you pass comment on the case.

    Yes, de Juana has served many years in prison but he was released. This new arrest warrant refers to charges that were deliberately made up by the Spanish authorities in an attempt to put him back in prison. The campaign isn’t focusing on ‘freedom fighting’, it’s focusing on the fabricated extradition demands.

    And Villanueva, he was simply a member of a pro-independence youth group that the Spanish made illegal in 2005. He was only a member from 1994 to 2000 so obviously many aspects of both cases don’t add up.