An anarchist prisoner once dubbed the "Spanish Robin Hood" is refusing to take water after 86 days on hunger strike over the Spanish state's refusal to let him go despite his having completed his sentence.
Amadeu Casellas is moving into the drinking strike to increase the pressure on Spain's justice system, which is attempting to keep him in prison long after his 20-year maximum term expired.
Amadeu was jailed for the maximum term after a number of bank robberies in aid of libertarian causes which led to the national press dubbing him "Spain's Robin Hood" in the 1970s. In the 1980s he became a member of Prisoners in Struggle, a jail organisation dedicated to improving prison conditions for inmates.
Supporters say his activism, which has included previous hunger strikes, has seen him heavily victimised by the state, which has already kept him in prison five years longer than is legal.
Amadeu went on hunger strike on April 20 against both torture in prison and to draw attention to his own case. Campaigners for his case issued a statement saying: "Amadeu was a conscientious individual who collectivised resources from the rich and the capitalists and put it at the service of social movements in the 1980s.
"Today Amadeu still represents a model for many of us and a danger for the system. Despite there being an obligation by law to end his imprisonment because he has served his full sentence, the Spanish authorities (specially those from the Government of Catalonia who have the responsibility to sign the end of his sentence) still want to keep him in prison.
"He is not going to tolerate this and he is going to fight the system and specially the penitentiary system till the end."
A demonstration is being organised on Amadeu's behalf on Monday October 12 at 12.30 pm at the Delegation from Catalonian Government in the United Kingdom, 17 Fleet Street, EC4 London
More information go to the llibertatamadeu blog, go to the 'Google translator' box on the right hand side of the page and select 'English'. For Spanish language reports, go to lahaine.org.
Amadeu Casellas: a life story
Amadeu Casellas: a life story of struggle
Amadeu Casellas is a prisoner who has spent more than 25 years in jail due to his participation in dozens of bank robberies, helping with that money to the funding of worker’s struggles in the late 1970’s. None of his activities involved blood crimes. Amadeu has always been a committed and active person, participating in many actions, in the streets as well as in prisons.
When he was 14, in 1973, working at a factory, he discovered anarchism. He believed in the armed struggle and in an essential revolution. In 1976 he robbed the Banco Mercantil de Manresa. During the next two and a half years he robbed more than 50 other banks. In 1979 he enters prison and is welcomed with a brutal beating. During all the time he has spent jailed, he has undertaken many hunger strikes and other types of protests, he has sewed his lips and has made countless denounces: about the prices inside prison, against the irregularities and exploitation of the inmates work, against the faking of blood analysis or penitentiary reports… All of this has caused him many “first grades” (isolation) and transfers from prison to prison, with the intention that he gave up. He has reported abuses to prisoners rights and of the entire prison system.
Last year, after holding a 76 day hunger strike, Amadeu gained the compromise of the penal institution to enjoy permits that would allow him to get to the “third grade” (weekend permits, the possibility to work outside prison and just go there to sleep…) and a subsequent freedom. Such compromise was blatantly ignored by the institutions.
Since july 15th, Amadeu is again on hunger strike. More than 85 days already. This particular hunger strike started after the repression he has suffered since he wrote some communiqués where he explained, with actual names, some facts related to the people in charge of the Catalonian prison system. Since july 2008, Amadeu has spent more then 200 hundred days in hunger strike!
He has been in forced feeding: 3,5 litres a day since september 24th. His lawyers and family find it extremely difficult to talk to him. Many “prison workers” and jail unions have tried to sanction the lawyers. When he wants to smoke, the rest of the inmates of the penitentiary wing of the Terrassa Hospital are forced to go back to their rooms.
As well as the hunger strike, Amadeu has felt forced to add a thirst strike so to be able to get visits from family and lawyers. That first thirst strike accomplished his intentions. Since Sunday October 4th, he has started another one because they're trying to transfer him again to prison, because “his health has improved”.
Some actions and demonstrations have taken place, in Spain as well as in other countries. We feel the need to ask for solidarity with this anarchist fighter. A call for decentralized actions has been made until he gets his third grade and leaves the hunger strike. It should be noted that Amadeu's position depends solely on the Catalonian prison and political system, not of Spain's. Anyway, actions, information and solidarity should be carried in any possible way.
It might also help (as happened during last year's hunger strike, along with many actions) to saturate this fax number and e-mail accounts with messages supporting Amadeu:
Fax number: (++34)932140179
You can send it with this program for free: http://www.myfax.com/free/
e-mail accounts: [email protected]
We should not leave Amadeu in the hands of the State. Adelante compeñeros, until the liberation of Amadeu and the demolition of their dirty prisons!
Please: Send e-mails to the
Send e-mails to the Catalonian Government through 'The Catalan Ombudsman' adressed to: [email protected] Text: Freedom Amadeu Casellas. You will be accountable of his death
Enviad e-mails al gobierno de Catalunya atraves del defensor del pueblo de Catalunya : [email protected] Texto: Libertad Amadeu Casellas. Sereis responsables de su muerte
I don't understand a lot of
I don't understand a lot of Spanish, but it seems like he's been released at last!
Machine translation: Amadeu
Amadeu Casellas has become famous in recent years for his struggle with the Catalan Administration to get out of prison, to which he was convicted for the first time in 1979. It was not until yesterday, the day he was released after 24 years as the supervising judge prison, the warden of Girona, where he was, and the evaluation committee that has been recognized eight behind bars years older than that would accrue due to an error in accounting for the total penalty, the result of the Penal Code.
About the anarchist were relapsing multiple convictions for two separate robberies of bank branches, the latter of which was committed in 2006, while on leave from prison. In fact, at that time still had a pending lawsuit. Al repeated the same offense, the Government consistently refused requests for benefits, as the third grade, the prisoner complained. Therefore, Casellas staged two hunger strikes in jail, the first 80 days and the second 99 days.
Sectors anarchists and even ERC and ICV denounced his prison conditions and argued that there was an error in calculating the sentence of imprisonment, which the judge has now acknowledged. The defense attorney asked three judges and one Valencian Catalan being applied to a doctrine of the Constitutional Court (TC) which resulted from a decision of 28 April 2008, which allows detention days accrue to rest in other final judgments. Following that resolution, Casellas eight years ago should have been released. If ultimately did not apply this procedure, his current sentence would not expire until 2016.
ROBIN HOOD THE SPANISH / Linked to anarchism from age 14, the multiple bank robberies were a pretext finance and social workers' struggles, dividing the money among organizations and individuals who, in his words, "they needed. He came to define as "the Robin Hood Spanish. Months ago, the Regional Minister for Justice, Montserrat Tura, said the ex-prisoner and has enjoyed 85 licenses and whenever I went out of prison offended, so accumulating a total of 12 convictions. In addition, Casellas was also actively involved in numerous prison riots.
Report on alasbarricadas I'm
Report on alasbarricadas
I'm just speculating but I wonder If the release of Amadeu Casellas, and its timing, has anything to with the death, after an 85 day hunger strike, of the Cuban prisoner Orlando Zapata. This got a lot of coverage In Spain and the possibility of something similar happening in a Spanish prison could have been an embarrassment.