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Twelve animal rights activists arrested in Spain

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Twelve animal rights activists arrested in Spain

22 June 2011

Twelve animal rights activists were arrested this morning by the Spanish police, in a series of raids sanctioned by the judge from the Magistrate's court, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain. Arrests and house searches of activists from the organisations Igualdad Animal/Animal Equality and Equanimal took place in the regions of Madrid, Asturias, Vizcaya and Galicia. The detained activists were then taken to Santiago de Compostela court, where they were accused of offences against the environment, public disorder, and criminal association.

The origin of the investigations appears to be centred on the seemingly intentional release of 20,000 minks from the farm Visones Bermúdez, located in Santiago de Compostela, in November 2007, which would indicate the supposed damage to the environment. Both organisations have denied any involvement, but do not condemn the action.

Both Animal Equality and Equanimal have publicly condemned the deprivation of freedom, torture and massacre of more than 300,000 minks every year by the Spanish fur trade, and carried out high-profile investigations and public awareness campaigns into Spanish mink farms over the last few years. These arrests therefore represent a clear attack by the fur industry against animal activists for highlighting the horrors of a practice in which the gassings, mutilations and captivity-induced suffering of mink on fur farms are inherent and widespread.

These two organisations, which define their activism as being non-violent, dedicate their efforts to raising public awareness of animal rights, by informing society of the consequences of the consumption of animal products and the promotion of alternatives. Even though the organisations were not involved in the mink liberations, neither do they condemn these types of actions, to the extent that they defend the interests of all animals regardless of species, as none of the minks exploited by the fur industry deserves to live and die on a Spanish fur farm.

Due to the fact that the authorities have no-one to hold responsible for the mink liberations, the various members of Equanimal and Igualdad Animal / Animal Equality have been arrested in an attempt to criminalise the animal rights movement in Spain, as has already happened in other European countries. The animal exploitation lobbies and powerful multinationals wish to put the brakes on the growing animal rights movement in Spain, and now we are seeing the arrival of repression.

Equanimal and Igualdad Animal/Animal Equality are holding two simultaneous press conferences today 22/06/11 in order to read a statement in response to the unjust arrests of these twelve activists from both organisations, at 8pm in Madrid and Barcelona.

Tomorrow, Thursday 23 June, peaceful protests will also be held in Madrid and Barcelona, in order for everyone who is against these arrests to show their rejection of the events and display their support and solidarity for the detained activists.

On Friday 24 June, we want to call for an international day of solidarity for the Spanish activists.

Please consider organising a demonstration in support of these activists in front of Spanish embassies or in city centres on Friday 24 June.


A leaflet about the Spanish 12 for use on the international day of solidarity can be downloaded here:

Placards about the Spanish 12 for use on the international day of solidarity can be downloaded here:

Please send your demo reports and photos to [email protected] to feature on our website.
International support is extremely important for the victims of repression so show your solidarity, take it to the streets!

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