Spanish state accuses web magazine of ‘glorification of terrorism’


May 22, 2023

The following is a May 20 statement by the Editorial Collective of La Haine, a web news magazine that publishes anti-imperialist, anti-fascist and anti-capitalist articles, calling for solidarity to stop a new attempt by the Spanish authorities to target the collective for its publication of news and opinion. See Translation: John Catalinotto

Amnesty for all (Basque political prisoners).

A colleague of our media has been called to appear May 23, 2023, before Judge Ismael Moreno of the Audiencia Nacional [National Court], under investigation for “glorification of terrorism.” The case involves a video that was published on the social network Twitter of our media about the reception that dozens of neighbors gave to the former Basque political prisoner Iñaki Etxeberria, in the Casco Viejo [old town] of Iruñea [aka Pamplona] in December 2021.

The tweet in question is a video, in which you can see the moment of the arrival of the ex-prisoner to Casco Viejo and the applause of dozens of neighbors gathered there. The text that accompanies the tweet says, “Dozens of people give Ongi etorri [a welcome] in Alde Zaharra of Iruñea to Iñaki Etxeberria ‘Mortadelo,’ Basque political prisoner who was released after 25 years of imprisonment. [Amnesty for all who are political prisoners of the Spanish state].

It is clear that the tweet does not extol anything but is dedicated to reporting in an objective way about what happened that night in Alde Zaharra in Iruñea.

Once again, the state has set in motion its machinery to silence those voices that make it uncomfortable. Those are the same voices that reject the discourse that the capitalist state is trying to impose and that are much less willing to submit to the state’s repressive tactics.

It is no surprise that the media dedicated to counterinformation is targeting us [at La Haine] because of the role we play in revealing the reality that they try to hide from us and for our refusal to systematically criminalize those forces that are unwilling to submit to the state’s dictates.

Thus the message of the Audiencia Nacional is clear: It will be considered information if it responds to its own interests; otherwise, if it does not and is still published by La Haine, it will be considered as a glorification of terrorism.

An attack on freedom of expression

We understand that this new judicial process against our media is a flagrant attack on freedom of expression and information. We also denounce the persecution by the judiciary and the Guardia Civil of an anti-fascist media like ours.

We demand the repeal of the crimes of opinion and specifically of articles 578 and 579 of the Penal Code, which regulate the so-called crimes of “glorification of terrorism,” a tool with which the state is equipped to persecute opinions and political dissidence. Of course, this attack on La Haine and freedom of information is just another piece in the attack on the movements in support of the political prisoners and any show of solidarity with them.

The only purpose of the proceedings undertaken by the Audiencia Nacional is to punish political ideas contrary to the regime, to punish anti-fascist ideas, in short, to set in motion a trial that serves as an example and a warning to everyone to lower our ears and keep our heads down.

The Court of Public Order [that condemned political opponents of fascist Spain] decades ago became the Audiencia Nacional, but it continues to maintain the role conferred on it by [Gen. Francisco] Franco’s regime, being faithful to its legacy. That is why it is impossible to deny the political character and motivation hidden behind this new proceeding.

From La Haine we call for publicly denouncing this new attack on freedom of expression and information; we reaffirm this for our work in the streets, with social movements and by informing the people from an anti-fascist perspective.

— La Haine Editorial Collective