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Interview with Amadeu Casellas Ramón (Catalunya)

[Update: Amadeu is now given conditional freedom] The Catalonian anarchist prisoner Amadeu Casellas Ramón was on hunger strike for 60 days to demand a solution to his critical situation of imprisonment, already lasting for more than 22 years. He has paid for 22 years for struggling against the state, for bank expropriations carried out in the 70s and 80s to help finance the workers’ struggles of that time.

Due to the authorities’ continuous refusal to give him a release date and the horrible conditions prisoners in the Quatre Camins prison are subjected to, Amadeu made the decision to go on hunger strike as a way to confront the prison authorities.

After being lied to by the director of the prison during his last hunger strike in April, Amadeu has decided that this hunger strike will be to the ultimate consequences: if the prison authorities don’t grant him an open regime (this is equivalent to day work release, where the prisoner signs out and goes to work during the day, returning to the prison in the evening), or a lessening of his sentence, he will continue the hunger strike.

La Haine.org, an anti capitalist media from Spain, has published an interview with Amadeu in his 58 day of hunger strike.

Lahaine – During your long time of imprisonment you have done dozens of hunger strikes and collective protests against prisons and abuses. What made you do it once again?

Amadeu- The reason why I went on hunger strike again is because the prison treatment teams (which are the ones who can recommend your freedom or probation) constantly lie about me in their reports and consequently I have no chance to apply for freedom under probation. I also petition for a judicial decision to limit my imprisonment time, which is something that I have right to do according to the old and new penal codes in Spanish laws.

What are the basic demands that you make with the hunger strike?

- Decrease of my imprisonment time and a chance to be released on probation

A few weeks ago, the judge decided to refuse the decrease of your imprisonment time and we want to know your opinion about it.

- It’s an illegal and fascist resolution based on my revolutionary background both inside and outside the prison walls

We think that a struggle inside a prison needs a lot of support from the streets because it is the only way to make the voices of the prisoners loud. what is your opinion about it? Was it something that you were aware of before starting a protest?

- Currently I do count a lot more on the support of people outside than on support coming from inmates. Basically because inmates are too scared about getting reprisals, that is why it is so important for me to spread the campaign for my freedom outside prison walls.

Our society is getting worse and worse everyday: passivity, individuality, indifference, apathy… prisons are just a reflection of society. How do you manage with that lack of comradeship and unity inside the prisons?

- As you said, prisons are just a reflection of society and a long time ago all of us were united in the same fight but not anymore. Fear of reprisals, legal and illegal drugs have destroyed any kind of compromise and collective spirit to fight and struggle for our rights

Have prisons changed a lot during the last three decades?

- Just in that they are healthier with better diet, but in all other respects they are still places of authority, fascism and arrogance, just the same as 30 years ago. The problem is that they are so well made up; they try to keep a good image for prisons.

Are you determined to go on until….?

- I’m determined to go on until the end….

Who are directly responsible for your situation?

- Politicians whether they are rightwing or leftwing, judges because of their hypocrisy, Penitentiary Services of Catalonia, and the bosses of the prison because they just believe what the treatment teams say in their reports.

You told us that one friend of yours, Juan Alfonso Casquero spent 70 days on hunger strike and when you saw him get back from the hospital he was completely out of his mind. Could you tell us how he is now and what has happened to him?

- Actually I have no idea what they done to him, but when I saw him, he was completely mad I couldn’t even talk to him. I tried to find out more info but at the moment I have no further information.

What do you expect from the people that are in the streets supporting you?

- I ask you to continue supporting me, spreading this information as well as sending faxes to the Penitentiary Services of Catalonia, Courtroom Number 2 of Manresa and anywhere else you think you should protest.

We really appreciate that you decided to answer all these questions after 58 days on hunger strike. We wish to have you back on the streets soon and close to your relatives. We will keep doing as much as we can to support you.

For further information about Amadeu Casellas go to La Haine

Go (here) for the original interview in Spanish, and to download PDF standard appeal cards to send to the authorities responsible. Freedom for Amadeu – Destroy all prisons

This entry was posted on Monday, June 1st, 2009 at 12:24 pm and is filed under Interviews, Prison Struggle.