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by Jean-Luc Mélenchon (from his blog)

A "Moch" November

Translated Thursday 8 November 2012, by Chrysanthie Therapontos and reviewed by Henry Crapo

As translator (HC) of an article from l’Humanité on the extradition to Spain of the French citizen Aurore Martin, I found that this paragraph from Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s blog provides essential clarification as to the moral, legal, and political issues at stake.

But now the Jules Moch [1] syndrome is firmly rooted in place, as evidenced by the shameful expulsion of Aurore Martin. I know that many readers will be surprised to see me defending a militant of Batasuna, the independentist party of the Basque region. They will get to know me differently than they have from the caricatures that have been made of me. In any case I defend the right of everyone to enjoy equal rights under the law.

I know perfectly well that this Party is banned in Spain. But it is legal in France. And that is enough for me to defend the right to freedom of Aurore Martin, a French citizen. And the fact that she is French is not at all a detail in my view, and this means she must totally enjoy all the rights attached to this status. Republicans like me must make it a point of honor to defend this woman, whose rights some deny in a way that seems they deny even her identity card.

For the rest, whatever sort of Basque independentist she be, I note that she has never incited people to ethnic hatred, or made any bad jokes about Durafour [2] or stolen pains au chocolat. She has never threatened people who wear Kippah, nor women who bear headscarves in the street. All those who have stooped to doing such things are free in France. She is being incriminated in Spain for having participated in public meetings of a banned organization, which in Spain, brings with it a charge of "acts of participation in a terrorist organization, and terrorism"! Spain does whatever it wants to do, and I note that this is not always brilliant. All this takes place out of sight, and under the pretext of a European arrest warrant.

But how come a European arrest warrant allows the deportation of a French citizen who committed no illegal act in her country or any activity that her country condemns? She was arrested in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques during a roadside check in which she made no attempt to escape. And she was immediately extradited to Spain, liable to a sentence of 12 years in prison. She will be arraigned before special courts, even though we, French people, reject special courts, having abolished them all under François Mitterrand! What is truly shocking is to see the difference in treatment of this case between yesterday and today.

[1Jules Moch was a marine engineer, member of the cabinet of in the first government of Leon Blum, who aided the republican forces in the Spanish Civil War. He was imprisoned by Vichy during the war, fought with the resistance, and was active in the period of reconstruction. But as Minister of the Interior he brought heavy military force to bear on striking workers organized by the CGT, and became a big supporter of NATO, sending French soldiers to fight in Korea.

[2Reference to an anti-jewish joke for which the leader of the Front National was condemned.

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