#FreeMikelandBego, Basque couple helping refugees exercise their freedom of movement

Joint statement from Greek organisations, in solidarity with the Basque activists detained in Igoumenitsa:

Refugees drowning in the Mediterranean and the construction of detention centres are the real crimes, not civil disobedience and solidarity.

At dawn on Wednesday, December 28, 2016, at the Port of Igumenitsa, Mikel Zuloaga and Begoña Huarte (both of Basque origin) were arrested as they were trying to travel back to the Basque Country with eight refugees in their camper-van. This action was part of a major campaign to secure freedom of movement, decent housing and work for refugees, as well as a life free of discrimination and exclusion.

This is an act of gross injustice.

The two Basques are being detained in Igoumenitsa on serious charges. Six of the eight refugees were released, whilst two others are being held in custody in appalling conditions due to not having papers.

Mikel and Begoña, in a statement released shortly after their arrest, fully clarified their motives and revealed the strength of their solidarity: “… This was a non-profit action, self-funded by various individuals belonging to social movements, and has as its only goal the solidarity between people and political denunciation (…) If States do not respect human rights, civil disobedience guaranteeing these rights are respected is not only legitimate but also absolutely necessary…”

The organisations that sign this text wholeheartedly embrace the initiative of our Basque comrades, and we express our full solidarity both with them and with the detained refugees.

We strongly believe that this act of civil disobedience against a Europe of terror, exclusion, racism, and violations of refugees’ fundamental rights, is a model of internationalism, dignity and humanity.

The grassroots, labour and anti-racist movements will continue to fight for the immediate release and dismissal of any charges against these four people who stood up against closed borders, deportations and brutality. We will also continue to work for decent conditions of housing and education for refugees, for open borders, and to be free of racist agreements and imperialist wars.

Solidarity is our weapon.

Αναρχοσυνδικαλιστική Πρωτοβουλία Ροσινάντε
Ανασύνθεση ΟΝΡΑ
Αντιρατσιστική πρωτοβουλία Θεσσαλονίκης
Δίκτυο για τα Πολιτικά και Κοινωνικά Δικαιώματα
Δίκτυο Κοινωνικής Υποστήριξης Προσφύγων και Μεταναστών
Δικτύωση για τη Ριζοσπαστική Αριστερά
Επιτροπή Αλληλεγγύης στου Πολιτικούς Κρατούμενους στην Τουρκία και το Κουρδιστάν
Κίνηση Απελάστε τον Ρατσισμό
Κουζίνα Αλληλεγγύης Θεσσαλονίκης
Κυριακάτικο Σχολείο Μεταναστών
Λαϊκή Ενότητα (ΛΑΕ)

Translated by members of the Lower Left Network

There is a petition calling for their release here: https://www.change.org/p/justicia-griega-libertad-para-mike…