• May 20, 2010

The Celtic League has asked the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings what steps he is taking to investigate the mysterious death of Basque activist Jon Anza Ortunez.

The body of the long time member of the armed Basque group ETA has turned up in a mortuary in France, nearly a year after mysteriously disappearing.

He was last seen April 18 2009 taking a train from his home in the town of Ahetze in the southern Basque country to Toulouse.

Although his family reported his disappearance within days, his body did not turn up for several months apparently having lain unidentified in the Toulouse mortuary.

Officials told his family that he had died after falling in the street but there are also suggestions that his death may be the result of an extrajudicial killing carried out by Spanish security forces acting with the knowledge and/or
complicity of the French.

There have been protests about his death in both the Basque country and Paris. During a recent demonstration a protester was injured when he fell whilst draping a banner on the Champs-Elysees (See link below):


Ironically Jon Anza Ortunez had moved to Ahetze in the French Basque country after serving over two decades in jail in Spain so as to be more secure from reprisals from Spanish State murder gangs. It seems his confidence in the
security France afforded was misplaced.

Text of letter to Philip Alston UN Special Rapporteur below:

“Philip Alston
United Nations Special Rapporteur on
Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions
United Nations Commission on Human Rights
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland


Dear Mr Alston,

Could you advise if your Office has enquired into the circumstances of the death of the Basque activist Jon Anza Ortuñez?

Jon Anza Ortuñez, a former member of ETA, left his home in the Basque country in April 2009 and took a train to Toulouse. Eventually, after he had failed to contact his family for several days, they notified French police that he had
disappeared. His body turned up ten months later apparently having lain unidentified in a mortuary in Toulouse.

There has been speculation that French and Spanish special police may have been involved in his death.

Yours sincerely,

J B Moffatt”

Link to a video here:


J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


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