On October 15th, 2016, during the early morning of the Alsasua Fair, there was an altercation between a group of young locals from the aforementioned town and a pair of the Spanish national police, the Civil Guard, along with their partners in Koxka Bar in the center of Alsasua. As a result, a member of the Civil Guard suffered a fractured ankle and was operated on surgically, seven young adults were arrested, transferred to the National Court of Spain and imprisoned. In total, 11 people are accused of assault, causing injury, provocation due to discrimination, hatred or violence against groups, and terrorism. Seven of the accused were detained under unconditional imprisonment without bail in the Alcalá Meco and Soto del Real prisons for more than one month after giving a statement before National Court judge Carmen Lamela. As of this moment, on the 21st of December, three of them continue in prison.

It is important to note that in the first report made by the Foral Police, which was the authority that initially took charge of the case, and who were present at the scene to collect testimonies in the area, only talked about possible crimes of attack and injury towards a law enforcement officer. Likewise, in the first report prepared by the Civil Guard, the existence of an organized lynching and the classification of the events as an act of terrorism was rejected. The subsequent complaint filed by the Coordinator of the Victims of Terrorism (Covite) before the National Court of Spain led to the transfer of the case and the extension of the proposed crimes to those of terrorism and incitement of hatred.

The disproportion between the facts and the penal consequences has provoked a great social mobilization in the community, which has been translated into almost complete support from the town hall of the petition of the mothers and fathers against the exaggeration of the facts of what occurred; In the unanimous support of the town hall of the district with the almost daily mobilizations that have happened in Alsasua’s central plaza by popular initiative; and in the disagreement of the Governing Body of the Parliament of Navarre’s classification of terrorism and its requests for the transfer of the examination to the Provincial Court of Navarre and for the release of the imprisoned persons. It has also generated numerous critics from both political parties and social organizations alike, which was reflected in the massive demonstration that filled the streets of Alsasua on the 26 November under the slogan ‘#Altsasu’.

The measures adopted against the young adults has provoked criticism and rejection by respected lawyers throughout the entire Spanish State who have called the charges “judicial overload”, “disproportionate” and “exorbitant”. On the other hand, the media’s take on the events, with the dissemination of the identities of the people affected, of their photographs, their professions and places of study while the case is still under investigation; with the distortion of the reality of the people and the town; with accusations being made without respecting the presumption of innocence, the right to a natural judge and a fair trial, have produced indignation in the local population and feelings of helplessness among families.

We want to express, through this document, how the events took place, what the countless acts of solidarity and support have been, and also the legal arguments that, in our opinion, show that respect has not been given to the principles of the presumption of innocence, of proportionality, of respect for the natural judge or of the individualization of responsibilities.