Eight Spaniards who fought for Donbass in Ukraine civil war were arrested upon returning home, then released on the same day. Argia (Basque language news portal) spoke to one of them - Madrid native Sergio Becerra
-How were you arrested?
I was arrested at home on Friday morning, around 6:30. Hooded and armed policemen came into my home and arrested me at gunpoint. I was told that I had been arrested for "fighting for the terrorists." I was surprised. In Madrid it is unusual to see hooded police.
They took me to the police station and afterward they searched my home, took my phone and other things. We went back to the police station and in the afternoon they let me go, but facing charges. So far they have not taken special measures against any of the detainees.
-How was the treatment at the police station?
We were held incommunicado. Although we were not allowed to talk to our relatives, the treatment was okay.
-What are you accused of specifically?
Possession of weapons and explosives, murder, participating in an armed conflict "against the interests of the Kingdom of Spain,” violating the neutrality of Spain, and terrorism. All the charges are false.
-You are accused as terrorists because you have been in the Donbass war.
We are not terrorists. We went to Donbass to defend the civilian population and are proud of it. The governments arming and supporting Ukrainian Nazis, like Spain, are the terrorists. Those who came into our homes and took us at gunpoint are terrorists. They say that we have violated the neutrality of Spain. It is stunning. They have violated neutrality by supporting NATO and financing the Ukrainian Nazi battalions.
-Among the images of the arrests, I was surprised to see a gun. Do you have weapons at home?
I have not seen the TV, but you've left me surprised. I have no gun at home and don’t think the others had them. We did not bring any weapons from Donbass. A friend told me that the attitude of the Spanish media has been very sad. In my case, the newspaper El Pais published my workplace. We did not deserve that, our privacy has not been respected.
-Do you think this operation aims to criminalize internationalist unity?
No doubt, but we will continue our internationalist work. The people of Donbass need our help now more than ever.