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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Extradition d’Aurore Martin : "c’est pas moi c’est l’Europe"

by Staff of l’Humanité

Extradition of Aurore Martin : "It’s not me, it’s Europe"

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

This is essentially the excuse advanced by the Ministers of Interior and Justice, Manuel Valls and Christiane Taubira, who tried to reject the accusation, this weekend, of having played a role in the arrest and extradition to Spain of the French militant for Basque separatism, Aurore Martin. They did absolutely nothing to prevent her extradition by the French police.

In an interview to the newspaper Sud-Ouest Dimanche, Manuel Valls assures us that he "took no decision" in the implementation on Thursday of the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) issued concerning the young woman by the Spanish authorities. "The execution of the EAW is a court decision. The decision was implemented under the authority of the Prosecutor General of Pau. It is not of my responsibility as the Minister of the Interior. I took no decision in this matter," he says in his own defense. He also denied any organized operation to arrest the young woman: "Aurore Martin was arrested during a traffic control, routine in this holiday season. I deny any other version of the facts."

Same refrain from the Minister of Justice, who has issued a communique developing the same arguments. Aurore Martin was arrested during a random alcohol test, and was then taken to the border at Biriatou [1], where she was handed over to the Spanish authorities. She also tries to excuse the French government, explaining that the MFA "is a transaction between judges, in which government no longer intervenes." According to the Attorney General, Aurore Martin appeared before a judge Friday morning in Madrid and was placed in custody. According to the minister, the extradition is part of the "strict procedure" under the European arrest warrant issued on 13 October 2010 by the Spanish for "acts of participation in a terrorist organization."

This "participation", in the case of Aurore Martin, is summed up as follows: she took part in some public demonstrations, unauthorized in Spain, organized by the Basque party Batasuna, which is legal in France. She faces up to 12 years in prison. [2]

In the opinion of Olivier Dartigolles, spokesman for the French Communist Party, Valls must explain himself. "Over and above the debate raised by the execution, for the first time in our country, of a European Arrest Warrant, why does the arrest come when Aurore Martin had, for several months already, decided to come out of hiding, and just after the inflammatory remarks by Manuel in the Spanish newspaper El Pais about the creation of a local territorial authority in the Basque region. In the face of many political reactions denouncing the amalgam between the debate on territorial reform and the peace process, did the Minister of the Interior want to try to regain the upper hand with this arrest of Aurore Martin? Faced with this question, how can we not feel a deep uneasiness? Manuel Valls must explain himself. "

[1near Hendaye and east of Irun

[2For further information, read the report Le vrai visage du mandat d’arret europeen, by Jean-Claude Paye, Sociologist. An English translation, The real face of the European arrest warrant, of Paye’s article is available on our site.
Also, we publish, in Comment and Opinion, a translation of a statement, concerning this extradition, which appeared in the blog of Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

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