The Celtic League has received reports that a French appeal court has agreed to the extradition of a French woman to Spain for her activity in a political party that is illegal in Spain, but not in France.
The decision to extradite the French woman has been condemned by La ligue Bretonne des Droits de l’Homme (Breton League of Human Rights). The organisation says that the decision by the Pau (France) court is made even worse, because the extradition order comes from a special court in Spain that has been previously criticised by the Pau court for ignoring accusations of torture and have even refused to grant prior extraditions. The woman, who the extradition order has been placed against, is a member of the Batasuna political party, which is registered in the French state. However the Batasuna political party, which is registered in the Spanish state, was banned in 2003 and its leader is still in jail.
The general secretary (GS) of the League has written to the French embassy in London to express his concern about the decision. The full text of the letter from the GS can be found below.
Ambassador of France to the United Kingdom
Dear Maurice Gourdault-Montagne
Appeal court decision, Pau
I am writing to you to express our concern at the decision by the French court of appeal in Pau, to agree to an extradition order made against a French woman recently.
From what we can gather, the extradition order was made on the basis that the French woman – who has not been named – was an active member of the Batasuna political party in the state of France. Unlike in Spain, in France as you know, the Batasuna political party is a legal organisation and as such membership is not prohibited. The French woman in question therefore had not broken any law and the extradition order should not, in our opinion, have been agreed to.
Moreover, we are aware that the same Pau Court of Appeal has previously refused to grant prior extradition orders from the Spanish Special court, because the same courts were thought to have ignored accusations of the torture of previous defendants.
I feel that if the circumstances surrounding this case are accurate then a severe miscarriage of justice has taken place and would think that a revision is necessary.
I would like you to pass on my concerns to the appropriate authority.
The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.