The struggle to expose torture in Spanish prisons

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In September 2016, the Human Rights Association of Andalucia sent a detailed submission to the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, asking it to investigate torture and mistreatment in Spanish prisons, and particularly in the Sevilla II central penitentiary at Moron de la Frontera. Earlier in 2016 the office of the Public Defender had referred complaints about violent behaviour by staff towards prisoners to the Ombudsman. However, according to communist political prisoner MARCOS MARTIN POUCE, all these inquiries and investigations are simply a smokescreen, under which the inhumane treatment continues. He writes:

On 12 November 2012, four jailers gave me a bad beating using truncheons, kicks, knee strikes and punches. All this while I was handcuffed and naked. The last image I remember before passing out was how they nudged each other, looking for the best angle to beat me ever more viciously. When I recovered consciousness, I was being dragged – still naked and handcuffed – on my back, with no power left in my muscles to offer resistance. My mouth was bleeding and my feet slipped in my own blood, leaving two red trails all down the corridors of the solitary confinement unit until we reached a punishment cell. There I was tied by my hands, feet and waist to a metal bedframe without a mattress. As I lay there still gushing blood from my mouth, the jailers verbally abused me, spitting out their class hatred (as good mercenaries of capitalism) and attacking my background as a communist political prisoner.

So there I lay for 48 hours, naked in the early winter with the window open, having to urinate where I was. I was given no clothes or blanket, no food and nothing to drink. When finally a nurse came to fill in a medical report, jailers immediately packed into the cell, obviously trying to intimidate the young woman. I am grateful to her strength of character: ‘16, 17, 18 marks on the back of his body, clearly caused by blunt instruments, leading to a massive bruise spreading all over his neck, back, arms and legs…a broken tooth, bruises to his face and a serious blow to his forehead’, she wrote.

Even so the capitalist system has a well-oiled repressive machinery to use against its class enemies. Consequently, the judiciary – the next link in the fascist chain – stuck to a well-established script. So, according to the jailers, all of a sudden and without reason, I turned into a violent, out-of-control and alienated being, causing them to fear for their lives. The courts refused to consider either my account of torture or my lawyer’s request for the CCTV footage to be released as evidence for my defence. My lawyer was not even allowed to read out the medical report of my injuries. The judge concluded that the jailers had presented ‘a coherent and reasonable statement’ about the events that had led them to control and immobilise the accused!

So much for the ‘constitutional right’ to a ‘fair trial’. If this is the highest level of democracy and freedom this political system is willing to offer us, it is up to all of us to look straight at the stark reality and decide what has to be done so that no other political (or indeed social) prisoner can be subjected to such abuse again – bearing in mind that capitalist prisons are but the rustiest link of the repressive systems of the fascist state.

Marcos Martin Pouce

CP Valencia III, 46220 Picasseut,

Valencia, Spain


Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 256 April/May 2017