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The lawyer representing imprisoned Catalan ministers, Oriol Junqueras, Carles Mundó and Raül Romeva, says he will file a complaint over the conditions in which his clients were moved to the Estremera prison on Thursday.” [1] Apparently Spain puts both violent and nonviolent prisoners in this prison. However, they may have high and low security wings, as it holds as many as 1500 prisoners. Nonetheless, the lawyer’s complaint is worrisome, especially as Spain is so overrun by mafia and trafficking of all varieties.

Although initially separated, all seven of the male Catalan government officials who have been sent to prison were put in Estremera prison. While some Spanish news sites want to present it as a five star prison – probably showing pictures of when it was first built, according to El Pais newspaper, the penitentiary center of Madrid VII, located in the town of Estremera, 67 kilometers from Madrid, is the prison that has registered the highest number of attacks on prison officers over the last six years in all of Spain – one hundred and twenty-four (124). On Wednesday and Thursday alone there were multiple fights between prisoners, they report. Madrid VII-Estremera has 1214 cells and holds 1500 inmates, according to one source [3]. Another puts it at 1008 cells [2]. Torture by prison guards has also been reported. [4]

Famous prisoners include Sergio Morate, recently condemned for the murder of two young girls, as well as a member of Prime Minister Rajoy’s party (PP), Francesco Granados [2] who was sent to jail for corruption (Opération Púnica), which appears to have been a sort of opening investigation to Operation Guertel (Correa) where around 37 members of Rajoy’s party may be sentenced to jail on November 10th and one can but hope that Prime Minister Rajoy will be sent to prison too.

[Warning – underage readers should not read this part. Just know that prison can be a dangerous place. ]

La Vanguardia newspaper posted a video from Reuters live stream of three Spanish police mocking the Catalan ministers as they left court for prison. They appear to be implying that the ministers will be victims of sexual assault in that prison and they laugh about it [5] In particular, about Vice President Junqueras a policeman says “Wait till you see what they do to the teddy bear; A teddy bear is going to jail; When they put him on all fours“, the policeman says while making gestures of a sexual nature, “they’ll fix his eye’…” [1], [5] While the Spanish police reported that they would investigate, will they investigate the police or those who made the video? There are apparently two parts of the video with the first having the police laughing and wondering if the van with the officials would be in an accident. Whether or not the second part referred to sexual or nonsexual assault [maybe kicking him in the rear], the policemen’s discussion points toward the violent nature of Spanish prisons.

Violence, including sexual assault, does occur in Spanish prisons (and even German prisons [6]). It’s not just in the USA. The Spanish Minister of the Interior reported 30,424 cases of violence among prisoners between 2005 and 2015. In the first 3 months of 2015 a sexual assault was reported. [7] While reportedly not as frequent as general violence, it occurs there. And, reporting does not always occur. Prison officers-guards have also sexually assaulted prisoners in Spain.[8].

The burly Vice President Junqueras is a history professor:

Titular del Departament d’Economia i Hisenda i Vicepresident del Govern, Oriol Junqueras. Autor: Jordi Bedmarhttp://premsa.gencat.cat/pres_fsvp/AppJava/notapremsavw/9405/ca/fotos-oficials-govern.do https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriol_Junqueras

[1] “Lawyer alleges mistreatment of jailed ministers
Defense attorney for deposed officials to lodge complaint while released minister calls for political solution to “terrible” situation
” 03 November 2017 07:30 PM byACN | Barcelona, http://catalannews.com/politics/item/lawyer-alleges-mistreatment-of-jailed-ministers
[2] “Estremera, 100 euros a la semana y se tendrán que comprar la tele
Fuentes penitenciarias destacan el “muy correcto” comportamiento de Junqueras
” By ÓSCAR LÓPEZ-FONSECA, Madrid 3 NOV 2017 – 15:37 EDT, El Pais.
[3] https://ca.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presó_d%27Estremera
[4] http://www.portaloaca.com/articulos/anticarcelario/13113-torturas-en-la-carcel-de-estremera-madrid-vii.html
[5] Vanguardia video http://youtu.be/2N5pGF2iofM
[6] “Study: Violence is common in German prisons
Fights, bullying and sexual abuse are too prevalent in German prisons, according to a study by the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony. But some state justice ministry officials doubt the results
[7] “Violencia en las cárceles españolas: 30.424 agresiones entre presos en los últimos diez años Informes de Instituciones Penitenciarias detallan el número de ataques registrados en las prisiones dependientes del Ministerio desde 2005. En los tres primeros meses de 2015 ya se han contabilizado uno muy grave, 5 graves, 685 leves y un asalto sexual.”
Esto es lo que pasa en las duchas de las cárceles, contado en primera persona Uno de los tabús más importantes en el mundo penitenciario está relacionado con las violaciones a los presos
“, 02.05.2015, (BY HÉCTOR G. BARNÉS). https://www.elconfidencial.com/alma-corazon-vida/2015-05-02/asi-son-las-violaciones-entre-rejas-contado-en-primera-persona-era-su-chica_720522/