Sunday, 3 March 2013

Current situation of Spanish POW Josué Estebanez

After the closing of the blogs “Freedom for Josué” and “Josué Libertad” some persons have written us to know about the current situation of Josué Estebanez, the Spanish Army soldier condemned for defending his life against a horde of antifascists in Madrid’s underground. We take this opportunity also to recapitulate about his situation during these years, and his actual situation. Last 11th of February Josué reached 5 years and 3 months without liberty. After the incident in the Metro station of Legazpi the 11th of November 2007, where one antifascist was killed and other severely injured, he was sent to the Military Prison of Alcalá Meco, on remand without bail until the trial. When his contract with the Army finished, he was moved to the Penitentiary Centre of “Madrid II”, also in Alcalá Meco city. In this prison together with a comrade that was there, started to prepare the Access Exam to University, and while he was in this prison the trial took place, in September of 2009, and the sentence to 26 years of prison was published on October of 2009. In January 2010, with nocturnally, premeditation and without previous notification, he was moved to the Penitentiary Centre of "Puerto de Santa Maria III" in Cádiz, in the south of Spain, the prison in Spanish peninsular territory more distant to the place of residence of his family, in the north of Spain. After that, the functionaries said that it was an “error”, but the truth is that they did not allow him to take his study books neither the entirety of his belongings from his cell, and was his comrade and friend who had to recover them before they throw it to the trash, to send these things afterwards to his family. In the Penitentiary Centre of "Puerto de Santa Maria III" the functionaries applied the FIES regime more severely than in the “Madrid II” prison. The FIES (File for Special Monitoring Inmates) is a special regime classification for specific inmates that restrict the things they can do inside prison and their contacts with the world outside. There are five categories, and in one of them are included the persons that had committed “crimes of racist or xenophobic character”. For Josué this supposed that he could be arbitrarily moved from his cell, gallery or module when the functionaries thought that he had made friendship with other inmate, what difficult his normal relation inside the prison and tried to influence him psychologically. Apart from that he had also restriction in the letters he could send and receive each week, with the aim of isolating him from outside. In April 2010 the Supreme Court examined the appeal presented by the Defence, and confirmed the sentenced of the Regional Court of Madrid. After the arbitrary transfer to Cadiz prison, Josué requested the transfer to the Penitentiary Centre of “El Dueso”, in Cantabria, in the north of Spain, to be closer to the place where his family lives, but in November of 2010 he was moved to a Penitentiary Centre in Asturias, also in the north of Spain, but at distance of 3 hours by car from his family house. In this Penitentiary Centre is where he actually is. In that centre the situation in relation to conflicts between inmates, overcrowding or small drug dealing is less conflictive than in a normal prison with normal inmates, as this is some kind of experimental prison focused in rehabilitation. In this prison they had their own internal rules that are different from other prisons, what for example means that is forbidden for the inmates to have contacts with persons of the “marginal or delinquent sphere” by letter, by telephone or in their personal visits, and this for Josué has been extended to persons of the “political sphere”. Due to this he can not have correspondence with persons that are not from his family, neither having political books in his cell, even if the political content is minimum, neither music from patriotic groups. The breaching of these internal laws could lead to the expulsion from this centre and his transfer to another one. For this reason, Josué actually can only contact and receive visits from his family. He has intention to restart the preparation of the exams to access to the university so that in the future he could study a university career trough the UNED (National Open University of Studies) The expenses related to the legal defence had already been paid; expect the presentation of an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights that the family and lawyer are studying. As he has no income, Josué depends on what his family deposits on his “pecolium account”. As you can imagine, the food inside a prison is not the better neither abundant, therefore is necessary to complement it with the alimentary products sold in the prison shop, were can be bought also basic hygiene products. Other of the common expenses are the telephonic cards to call to mobile phones and land lines. In general, the maximum amount that can be spend of this account each month are 260 euros, that only the food and telephonic cards takes a good part of this amount. For this reason are very important the campaigns like the Lottery participations or other that have been made in order to try to raise funds, with the aim that the cover of these expenses inside prison would not suppose an economical charge for his family.

 Feel free to publish this article in your blogs, websites, magazines, forums. 

 POW Spain.



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