Sentenced to 3 years imprisonment because he would supposedly have attacked a socialist representative of the city of Jodar during a demonstration of agricultural workers in 2012, Andres Bodalo, a municipal representative of the city of Jaen (Andalusia-Spain) and trade unionist of the SOC-SAT (Sindicato de Obreros del Campo-Sindicato Andaluz de Trbajadores/Union of Farm Workers - Union of Andalousian Workers) has always claimed his innocence.
While the video recordings of the Civilian Guard testify in favor of the condemned man, the disproportionate sentence against Andres Bodalo is but one more manifestation of the very strong repression against the SOC-SAT since several years, that aims at silencing those who, in the context of an increased social and economic crisis dare to contest a latifundist agricultural model that deprives of land access thousands of Andalousians and keeps them in the most absolute precariousness.
Being imprisoned since March 30 2016, Andres started a hunger strike on Nov 3rd to denounce the persecution he is victim of inside the prison, on top of having been unjustly imprisoned.
Please read below the declaration issued by the SAT the day after Andres started his hunger strike.
Also the petition for freeing Andres is still available for signature by following the below link:
Declaration of the SAT
“Andres Bodalo has started a hunger strike for being persecuted in prison.
Yesterday evening Andres Bodalo started a hunger strike to protest for being victim of persecution these last months. Bodalo, who had to be hospitalized twice for his heart disease, had to share his jail cell with a prisoner sentenced for homicide.
On top of this difficult cohabitation, he has been humiliated and threatened by a civil servant of the prison who allowed himself to tell Bodalo in front of his children: “Here you are going to have a bad time”.
That same civil servant of the prison, on the occasion of one of the numerous cohabitation issues, took sides against Bodalo pretending a lack of respect. Andres was hence punished with 15 days in an isolation cell followed by 3 months of rehabilitation, which means that he will not be able to obtain the semi-liberty regime in January.
Although innocent and unjustly imprisoned, Andres Bodalo kept an exemplary behavior. In spite of this, he has been harassed, humiliated and persecuted. Let’s highlight that this punishment arrives “right in time” to prevent him obtaining the semi-liberty regime.
Here it is no more about an unjustly imprisoned innocent but about a man exposed to abusive treatment that any human would denounce. Despite of this, Andres remained calm and silent, suffering all provocations without falling into the trap, so that they had to invent an alleged “lack of respect” to double his punishment and make him miss the possible advantage of the semi-liberty regime.
Considering his situation, he found himself forced to start a hunger strike. However, the union wants to remind that Andres is not in optimal health conditions. On the contrary he suffers from severe heart problems that could be worsened by a hunger strike. We hold the prison authorities responsible of the possible worsening of Andres’ health condition.
That is why we, all trade unionists of the country, will gather in front of the prison door to require his release again.”