the catalan lawyer francesc arnau is since decades a strong defender of the prisoners and a good friend of many anarchists in Barcelona and beyond. He is attacked now for exposing another suspicious death in the Modelo prison in Barcelona. Please copy, sign and send the letter to the adresses at the end
Denouncing suspicious death in Barcelona prisons may be dangerous : support the lawyer Francesc Arnau
Mr. Jaume Alonso Cuevillas
Dean of the Association of Lawyers of Barcelona
The Director of The Model prison made an official complaint against Francesc Arnau i Arias, trying to discredit the work of this lawyer, who has always fought against the injustices of the Judicial and Social system.
The complaint was initiated after the publication, in different places, of the telephone call of the director of The Model prison to this lawyer informing him of the death, in very unclear/suspicious circumstances, the 17th June 2004 , of José Antonio Verdejo imprisoned in The Modelo prison . During this phone-call, the director asked for this news of the death of the prisoner to be communicated to his family.
THE SUSPICIOUS DEATH OF A FIES PRISONER
This prisoner, classified as FIES (Fichero de
Internos de Especial Seguimiento = special Internment Blocks to isolate prisoners), spent 12 years inside as a prisoner and had suffered all kinds of repression, especially during the last four years. He suffered all kinds of tortures, a situation which got much worse in
his last year : dispersion, being sent from one prison to the next ; isolation, from the other general prisoners , and possible isolation from all other prisoners ; psychological manipulation , psychological pressure applied in all sorts of ways from insults, humiliations, threats, set-ups, etc,
psychops ........ But he fought on right up to the last moment, with all the means he had at his disposal, even a long term hunger strike plus without drinking anything, from the 14th February until the 6th April 2004. Afterwards he spent time in three hospitals and finally was sent to The Modelo ...... in no place did he receive adequate treatment. The official version is that he committed suicide ; we say that it was murder.
THE SCREW PHONES THE LAWYER
The phone-call announcing his death happened on
Thursday at 10 p.m., in the Badalona office of DALP (Office of Popular and Labour Assessment) and all the people who were there, those who work there, and those who happened to be there for a legal consultation, were witnesses to the phone conversation between the
lawyer Francesc Arnau and the director of the prison, who at that time was Pedro Dominguez.
Immediately there were people who offered to go and tell the family and to denounce the situation legally in the Barcelona Law Court open at night (Jutjat de Guardia).
Last year, the Osona Co-ordinator Against Torture and Labour Exploitation and the Co-ordinator Against the Abuses of Power, of Barcelona, started a petition to get signatures so that the Association of Lawyers of Barcelona sides with Francesc Arnau and the collectives in favour of the rights of prisoners so as to clarify this death in The Modelo. And, more
recently, the review Panoptic, from the publisher Virus, has published an article very critical of the Association of Lawyers .
( See - http://www. Viruseditorial.net ) .
WHO IS THE ASSOCIATION OF LAWYERS COLLABORATING WITH ?
Instead of this, what has happened is that the
Association of Lawyers of Barcelona has opened legal proceedings against this lawyer threatening him with a sanction of one month of being disbarred from working as a lawyer. They accuse him of having organised a campaign to denounce this latest death in prison, which is most definitely not true. But, even if he did, we believe that denouncing this grave situation
in the prisons is not only a right, but is also a duty of each and every one of us.
Or is it that the Association of lawyers makes common cause with those responsible, directly or indirectly, for these deaths ? With those
from the most reactionary, domineering, and
aggressive, sector of the screws ? Needless to say, the present director of The Model prison is Antonio Gutiérrez who precisely shared the Sub-directorship of the internal regime with Carlos España when Cana Verdejo was found dead and that of late has been denounced publicly as being accustomed to wander around all the prison with a pistol.
How is it that the Association of Lawyers refuses to protect its own members from the repression they might suffer by the sole fact of only wanting to get to the truth by clarifying the facts of what happened ? And the deaths in prison don’t stop. Without going any
further, another prisoner died the 5th April last, Miguel Ángel , in the Zuera prison ( Zaragoza ), before he could be attended to by a doctor.
By everything just expressed, the people and
collectives signed below,
1) - That the Association of Lawyers of Barcelona assume the responsibilities which
are duly theirs in the defence of the Human Rights of the people imprisoned behind
2) - That the Association support its very own members before retaliations and reprisals of which they are the victim as a direct
result of undertaking a dignified defence of those imprisoned.
3) - Consequently , that this Association close the file, without taking any further steps, of the disciplinary complaint made against Francesc Arnau i Arias to whom reference has already been made .
Vic & Barcelona - 24th April 2005.
PLACE OF ORIGIN :
Send it to the Col•legi d’Advocats of Barcelona :
firstname.lastname@example.org , or FAX :
93 487 19 38 . Please send a copy to the Koordinadora
d’Osona kontra la tortura i
l’explotació laboral : email@example.com