13 March 2006


Around forty people gathered last Saturday afternoon to show solidarity with the Basque political prisoners outside Cultúrlann in the Falls Road of Belfast.

The Belfast Basque Committee called the picket line after the last dramatic events in the Basque Country. Two political prisoners were found dead, their funerals and protests were savagely attacked by the police and leaders of the left-wing pro-independence movement face prison this week.

Different political parties and socialorganizationss launched today a petition denouncing this attack against the Left Abertzale defining it as a bid to undermine theopportunitiess to open a conflict resolution process.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP has voiced his concern at reports from the Basque Country that the courts are about to arrest key members of the Batasuna leadership. He called for the threats to be lifted and for the Spanish government to work with others to build a genuine peace process.

Mr. Adams said:

"The continuation of the ban on Basque political party Batasuna and jailing of its leadership will only serve to undermine efforts to establish a peace process.

"The Spanish government needs to end its policy of criminalization. Threats to arrest key members of the Batasuna leadership should be lifted immediately and the harassment of political prisoners should end.

"It is Sinn Féin's view that a real opportunity exists to make progress. I would call on the Spanish government to stop creating obstacles to progress and to work with others to create the conditions for inclusive dialogue."

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