The support committees of Rafael Ballarin want to bring to your attention the serious injustice this young man is suffering. Rafael is from a small town close to Graus in Northern Spain, he worked as a farmer and has no criminal record.
On the evening of 1st of December, 1996, Rafa and his girlfriend Valle were walking through a main street in Madrid when they were brutally attacked by a gang of 7 neo-nazi skinheads. They were both knocked to the floor under a hail of blows from chains, sticks and steel toe-capped boots. Under this savage assault Rafa pulled out a small knife and tried to defend them both with it. Rafa stabbed one of the attackers, who died instantly. After this Rafa and his girlfriend managed to run away from the fascists. Three days later the police arrested Rafa and he was taken to prison. He is currently awaiting trial.
Press coverage of this incident was limited to the police version of events where Rafa was described as a 'dangerous punk' who without reason, attacked some 'helpless students', reducing the whole incident to a weekend fight. In fact this is not true at all, these 'young students' are in fact a dangerous ultra-fascist group and some of them have criminal records for similar aggression. This 'dangerous punk' is a young man from a small town near the Pyrenees. The mortal wound that killed one of Rafa's attackers was no more than 1 centimetre deep, which shows that Rafa didn't intend to kill anyone.
Would the judge have prefered Rafael and Valle to have been killed by fascists like many other people over the last few years such as David Martin, Ricardo Gonzalez and Guillem Agullo?
We consider that Rafa had the legitimate right to defend himself in this situation where his own life and that of his girlfriend were in danger. We demand his release and complete acquittal at the next trial. We also demand the immediate dissolution of fascist groups who are involved in increasingly more violent attacks throughout Spain.
We ask for all people reading this leaflet to support Rafa by sending him messages of solidarity to:
Rafael Ballarin Bergua
C.P. Madrid III, Carretera Pinto-S.Martin de la Vega km.5.
Valdemoro 28.340 (Madrid) Spain
(Although Rafa only speaks Spanish he will surely understand the thoughts of solidarity behind cards in any language!)
For more information and to get involved with the actions that will take place to support him during the trial he will have to suffer, please contact:
Comite de Apoyo a Rafael Ballarin - C.S.L., Coso 186, Spain
Coordinadora de Apoya a Rafael Ballarin - Ap.184, Huesca, Spain
Thanks in the name of Rafa for all your support
For copies of this text/leaflet (in English or Spanish) or copies of the petition for Rafa's release please contact:
Madrid ABC - Paseo de Alberto Palacios, N. 2, 28021 Madrid, Spain.
-PO Box 381, Huddersfield, HD1 3XX, U.K.
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