Saturday, 18 December 2010

Freedom for Pedro Varela

Barcelona Bookshop Owner Pedro Varela Europe's newest Free Speech Martyr, sent to Prison For Spreading "Racist" Propaganda
As one European free speech martyr, Ernst Zundel, was recently released from prison, another one takes his place in the EU gulag. A Spanish court sentenced Barcelona
bookshop owner Pedro Varela to two years and nine months in prison for spreading racist propaganda. The court ruled that Varela spread ideas favourable to genocide that
denigrated Jews, blacks and other groups through the books he sold at his Barcelona bookshop and by organizing lectures. Varela was also ordered to pay a fine of 2,880 euros
(3,945 dollars). Prosecutors had asked for a four-year prison sentence.

The court rejected Varela's defence that he belonged to no political party and that there were no banned books in Spain. During the trial, Varela said “I am not saying there was not
persecution of the Jews, but so far nobody has found these famous bars of soap into which they were supposedly transformed. And I doubt the numbers of the dead would reach the mythical 6 million.”

This represents Pedro Varela's third time through the Spanish justice system over free speech issues. In 2006, Varela was arrested on Holocaust denial and justification of genocide charges, convicted on the justification charge, and sentenced to seven months in prison after a 2008 trial, but avoided incarceration at the time because he lacked a prior criminal
record. Previously, on November 16th, 1998, a Barcelona criminal court found Varela guilty of inciting racial hatred and of denying or justifying genocide, and sentenced him to five
years imprisonment and a fine of 720,000 pesetas (about $5,000). The conviction was suspended by the Catalonia Regional Court on April 30th, 1999 when the three judges of the Audencia court in Barcelona unanimously declared that the law under which he had been convicted may have violated Article 20 of the Spanish Constitution, which guarantees the rights of free speech and free expression of opinion.

Ultimately, a Constitutional Tribunal sided with the provincial court, deciding in 2007 to decriminalise a presumption that was included in the reform of the Penal Code of 1996. Article 607.2 anticipates punishments of up to two years in jail for whoever, “by any means” diffuses “ideas or doctrines that deny or justify” the Holocaust. The Tribunal found that this clause limited a fundamental right, the right to freedom of expression, since it punished the diffusion of ideas “without demanding any other element, such as affronts, or inciting to attack groups.”

In 2007, Pedro Varela was instrumental in assisting Dr. David Duke in launching his Spanish-language translation of his book, "Jewish Supremacism". The two launched a joint book tour for Dr. Duke.
The magistrate in Penal Court 15 in Barcelona order that Varela should be taken into jail for one year and three months as he had a previous sentence. Normally prison sentences
under two years are automatically suspended in Spain, but in this case the judge has said no suspension should occur and the defendant should go to jail, although that decision could be appealed against. The judge said with the earlier case Varela should now serve two years and nine months in jail.

The judge said that the defendant’s behaviour clearly demonstrated a criminal trajectory and that he was dangerous from a penal point of view. He considered the books being sold
were a clear insult to the Jewish community and other minorities.

The appeal was rejected and last 09-12-10 Pedro Varela entered in the prison to serve 1 years and 3 monts.

More info (in Spanish) about his case here:


Pedro Varela Geiss
Centro Penitenciario Can Brians 1.
Apartado 1000
08760 Martorell.
Barcelona. Spain

You can write in Spanish, English or German.Background of Pedro Varela

Since its founding in 1965, Círculo Español de Amigos de Europa (CEDADE, Spanish Circle of Friends of Europe) was one of the oldest and most active neo-Nazi groups in Europe.

This "cultural association", based in Barcelona, was led until January 1993 by the convicted neo-Nazi Pedro Varela. After Varela's successors decided to dissolve the
group's "organizational structure" at a special general meeting in Madrid on 12 October 1993 Nevertheless, Varela has continued to control CEDADE's extensive international
publishing network as well as its Barcelona bookshop, Europa. On 11 December 1996, however, in a carefully planned and unprecedented operation, the regional Catalonian police
force raided the bookshop's premises, seizing some 12,700 books and arrested Varela
The Mossos entered Europa at 6.45 p.m. and completed the operation in the early hours of the following morning. They seized a total of 12,700 books of Nazi and neo-Nazi
propaganda and Holocaust-denial material written in English, German and Spanish. Many were already packed, ready to be sent abroad. In addition to books, the Mossos seized:
400 posters and leaflets; 15 flags bearing Spain's pre-constitutional emblem, the Nazi swastika and the Celtic Cross; 80 videotapes of xenophobic content; several Holocaust-denial catalogues; and brooches, badges and tie-pins sporting Nazi symbols. They also found proofs of books, evidence for the theory that the Europa bookshop not only distributes material printed in other countries but also produces its own.

Around midnight, detectives arrested thirty-nine-year-old Varela at his home. The following afternoon, Varela was granted provisional liberty by the court provided that he report
fortnightly to the court that is investigating his case. Varela had already had a brush with the law in 1992 in Austria, where he served a four-month sentence for having publicly
declared Hitler a "hero of heroes".

The police operation was planned over several months under the supervision of José María Mena, chief prosecutor of Catalonia's supreme court, and was the first in Spain to lead to
an arrest on charges arising from the new penal code. In fact, the police and the judiciary waited for the new penal code to come into effect in order that they could invoke the necessary legal instruments. Some of the books seized may well fall foul of article 607 of the new code, which states in part that "the diffusion, by any means, of ideas or doctrines that deny or justify the crimes specified in the previous items [crimes of genocide], or that attempt to re-establish regimes or institutions that condone practices leading to such crimes, will be punished with a prison sentence of one to two years". The court may also be able to prove that a violation of intellectual property has been committed in this case,
due to the allegedly illegal reproduction of some of the confiscated material.

The hub of the extensive CEDADE publishing network was considered to be the most important distributor of neo-Nazi propaganda in the whole of Europe. In its 1994 report, the
German Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution) called Pedro Varela-the owner of Europa and the ex-leader of CEDADE-"Spain's Nazi Führer" and named him as Barcelona's representative of the European neo-Nazi movement as well as its treasurer.

Freiheit für alle Nationalisten!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am a true believer of free speach, and so I say that absolutely no one has ever died from an idea, and like voltier I will defend unto death mr varela's right to do so!