2014 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the birth of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in the Basque Country (CDDHPB – Comité de Défense des Droits de l’Homme en Pays Basque). Michel Tubiana, former President of the French Human Rights League (LDH – Ligue des Droits de l’Homme) will open the celebration with a conference on “Human Rights in the Basque Country” on the 27th of September 2014 in Bayonne (Maison de la Vie Citoyenne Polo Beyris, 28 avenue de l’Ursuya, Bayonne – 4pm).
The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in the Basque Country (CDDHPB – Comité de Défense des Droits de l’Homme en Pays Basque) has been created in July 1984 by Basque Human Rights activists. They were concerned with the increasing violence of anti-Basque death squads such as the GAL and the poor level of reaction from French Human Rights organisations in front of the growing dissonance between praised French tradition of political asylum and the implementation of special rules for the deportation of Basque refugees.
Through the tumultuous years of criminal activities of the GAL in the 1980s with its inevitable grim succession of death, injuries and fear, when facing a radical change in the nature of Spanish and French diplomatic relations and the explosion of the numbers of deportation under the 1986’s measure of “absolute emergency” allowing French authorities to bypass extradition procedures, but also when engaging with the issues of prosecution, incarceration and dispersion of the prisoners as far as possible from their homes and relatives, the CDDHPB has been involved in all the battles for the respect of Human Rights that have taken place in the last 30 years. It has continuously campaigned against unfair arrest, detention without trial, enforced expulsion and any other form of intrusion or repression. Its journal Jakilea (the witness) echoes these different battlefields. The CDDHPB is not a huge organisation. Just a local and dedicated organisation informing, supporting the peace process and denouncing the erosion of civil liberties and Human Rights in the context of the Basque country. But even the smallest speck of sand can make a huge difference.
In commemorating its thirtieth anniversary, the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights in the Basque Country endeavoured not so much to celebrate its accomplishments but to recall the power of the inspiration that guided its founding members: suspending basic freedoms, violating human rights, and undermining the rule of law cannot be an answer to violence.
Association de Défense des Droits de l’Homme au Pays Basque, CDDHPB [Euskal Herriko giza eskubideen babes elkartea] Contact: email@example.com
An interview [in Basque] with Koko Abeberry on the CDDHPB published in Beria