The request for release on parole of Paskal Laizé will finally be examined on November 30 2004
The request for release on parole of Paskal Laizé will finally be examined on November 30 2004.
Arrested on May 2, 2000 by French political police, this Breton militant for independence was tried in March 2004 by the very special and very political assize court of Paris.
He was sentenced to 8 years’ imprisonment for several bomb attacks carried out by the Breton Revolutionary Army, which only caused material damage.
Accused, together with 3 other militants, of being involved in the tragic, magical and still very mysterious affair of Quévert, he was definitively declared not guilty on this particular case; the prosecution, taking orders from the French ministry of Justice, appealed the decision against him.
In a statement issued in May 2003, the “Quévert four” had denounced the “witch hunt against the Breton movement, and particularly left wing organisations fighting for independence” and strongly asserted “to be absolutely not involved in this action, whether for preparing or for implementing it”. The trial of May 2004 had totally held up to ridicule the investigation of the Quévert affair, carried out by examining judge Thiel.
He is also accused of being involved in the affair of Plévin, Côtes d’Armor, where explosives were stolen in September 1999.
Last January, we had published a heartrending testimony from Jérôme Bouthier, who was jailed with him, on the sufferings of Paskal Laizé in jail. Jérôme Bouthier, after 2 years of “provisional” detention, was totally cleared by the assizes court of Paris on March 26, 2004.
For Brittany Co-ordination Against Repression
The spokesman, Claude Le Duigou
Testimony from Jérôme Bouthier
Document published by Brittany Co-ordination Against Repression
Paskal certainly already told you, we have been in the same building for two or three months now, and, more precisely, I am two or three cells away from him. Therefore, we can see each other every day, even if, during week days I cannot always be present since I have to go to class to study for my degree. But we have very often the opportunity to take our “walks” together”.
If I mention all this, it is also for a quite precise reason. I happen to be Paskal’s neighbour, which makes me a close witness of the way the administration treats him and “takes care” (in all senses of the word) of him. I am getting to know how the systems works, since I have been undergoing the “French gaol” for more than two years and three months, and I know how they care take of the prisoners, and especially the political ones, they are in charge of. Hereafter is what I saw and keep seeing everyday regarding the (non existent) medical care for Paskal. As you know, Klaod, Paskal was the victim, a few weeks before being imprisoned, of a road accident, in which he was seriously injured. His legs were affected, but luckily medicine could still improve his condition. Medicine which, in theory, prisoners of the French State can have access to, as everyone else. Actually, hospital services have been inside prison walls for a few years now and are (normally) independent from prison administration. Therefore, prisoners have treatment inside the prison or, if needed, public hospitals take care of prisoners in their buildings; The problem is… prison administration always gets the upper hand on doctors and nurses, and anyway has the last word. Since he was imprisoned, Paskal not only undergoes a malfunction of the prison administration, but a real will to prevent him from having access to the medical care he needs more and more everyday. I assure you I am a direct witness of his endangering. Of course, Paskal is not subjected to direct physical torture, but in the end, from an ethical point of view, it amounts to the same thing. Thus, recently, the doctors treating Paskal prescribed him to wear special knee supports in order to attenuate the pain but also the “progression of the premature and fast wearing of his knees” (… while waiting for a surgical operation which will be carried out “later”… the last word meaning “outside”. You may note the subtlety in the kind of treatment available for prisoners: only immediate and urgent treatment is considered… after that it’s every man to himself !). A second anomaly adds up to this first one: these knee supports are charged to Paskal. They are very expensive and Paskal does not have any financial resource since he is deprived of his freedom, and notably his freedom to work… (but this queer situation was made up for by Breton solidarity, I think, through Skoazell Vreizh). Having an authorisation from the doctors (some kind of prescription), endorsed by the prison administration (!) (via the chief of division), Paskal therefore asks someone from outside to buy these knee supports and tries to get them inside via the normal ways of the visiting room. These ways look as impenetrable as official since Paskal will not get his knee supports: so one of the man in charge of visits decided. To date, no reason as to why he refused to let the knee supports inside was given by this person.
Now, Paskal’s legs get more and more painful. During walks, which last about one hour, Paskal (a man in the prime of life: 37) has to stop several times in order to allow his knees to rest. Same thing when he climbs the stairs: often, I see him forced to stop on his way up to the…. second floor !
But there is more, the prison administration has resources you don’t want to imagine and that send shivers down your spine. Thus, a few days ago, as Paskal and I were going for a “walk”, we were asked to show our “detainee identification card”, a thing which is very seldom required from us….and for good reason: we have been kept in provisional detention for so long that all warders know us and don’t need to check our identity. Anyway, as luck would have it, I had my card on me, while Paskal had left his in his cell. Here is the reaction of the two warders “Hey, Laizé, go fetch your card…. Or else no walk”. Quite surprised, we point out to the two warders that they just called Paskal by his name, therefore the card is useless; and all the more since this card is of no use for a “walk”. The two fellows won’t move and they insist on seeing Paskal’s card. I then explain them that Paskal’s legs are painful and that going back to his cell means a terrible effort for him. As an answer, I’ll get… two smiles ! In nearly thirty months of detention, I have seen quite a number of horrors, but these guys really made me want to vomit. What they did was absolutely wanton. Worse, while I was waiting for Paskal, who had gone back to his cell to get his card (of course, I could not go there on his behalf), I saw two other detainees go straight for their walk without anyone requesting to see their cards. When Paskal comes backs with his… they hardly look at it.
I don’t want to say what happens to Paskal on his behalf, he does it very well himself. Through this testimony, I just wanted to bring an external point of view. I can say I was happy to hear that Amnesty International was looking after his case… I did not mention here the hernia Paskal has on his abdomen (on the side), but it is of the same kind: he gets no treatment, while he should, urgently.
Well Klaod… I don’t know whether my testimony may contribute in getting the outside world understand what is going on here, what they are doing to us…. But you have to understand that this happens 24 hours a day. But caution, make no confusion: we remain in fighting form, their insidious undermining work has no effect on us, I can assure you they are wasting their time.