20 November 2008


Basque Info 18/11/08

-Brussels hosts an event which criticizes police activities and demands a democratic process to Madrid.

The group Basque Friendship (MEPs support group for a peace process in the Basque Coun¬try), was set up three years ago in the European Parliament with the aim of supporting and advan¬cing the process of democratically resolving the conflict in Basque Country. Last Tuesday, they organized a successful event in the European Parliament building.

About a hundred people, Members of Parliament of different political affiliation and origin, deputies or staff members from all parliamentary groups, journalists from various countries, NGO staff, human rights lawyers and committee members of Basque Country solidarity groups, attended the event.

Bairbre de Brún, Sinn Féin MEP, and vice president of the European Par-liament Gerard Onesta, moderated the event and introduced the two guests. They also gave their views on the subject.

The first speaker was Brian Cur¬rin, a South African lawyer, who has first hand knowledge of the conflict in the North of Ireland and of the conflict in his own country. He concluded from his experience that there are some elements and pro¬cedures which are common in the resolution of both conflicts. And he advises that, beyond the differ¬ences that may exist, these procedures of conflict resolution should be applied to other scenarios, as for example the Basque Country.

The speakers criticized the French and Spanish states repressive approach to the conflict.

-French police operations against ETA.

Two ETA members were arrested last week by French police near the border with Andorra and another two were arrested this week in the French Pyrenees. One of them was named by the police as one of “ETA leaders”.
French and Spanish first ministers showed publicly their satisfaction for the arrests. Both states propaganda machine announced once again the end of ETA.

-Inaki de Juana appears in Belfast Court.

After the issuing of an international arrest warrant against former political prisoner and hunger striker Inaki de Juana, he presented himself to the High Court in Belfast Court, accompanied by his solicitor Mr Seán Devine. Shortly afterwards, he was arrested.

A protest organised by the Belfast Basque Solidarity Committee was attended by at least 20 people who offered support with flags and a banner in favour of independence of the Basque Country.

Later that evening and after considering all the prosecution arguments the judge decided to release Inaki on a £5000 bail and other restrictions on his normal life.
Meanwhile, the judge will clarify the conditions of the Spanish warrant. Inaki de Juana will have to appear in court again on the 28th of November.

-Another three political activists imprisoned.

Three young people members were arrested, tortured and imprisoned by Spanish police last week. They have been accused of being members of Segi, the pro-independence youth organization. Segi was banned by the Spanish government in 2003 and 23 of its leadership members are doing a 6 year prison sentence for their public and political work in defence the Basque youth. Parents of the arrested said: “They have been taken away like they did in Franco times.”

2,000 people rallied last Saturday in the deteniees hometowns of Irunea/Pamplona and another 400 in the village of Amezketa against the arrests.

-Basque political prisoner taken to hospital.

Antton Lopez, held in a Spanish prison at 1,000 miles from the Basque Country was taken to hospital last week after having a brain crisis. However, he had to wait for 3 hours until the jail’s doctor attended him and another two hours more before being taken to hospital.

Organised by the Basque political prisoners’ relatives’ organization, Etxerat and most of Basque trade unions, hundreds of people gathered outside Spanish courts buildings across Basque Country to ask for the immediate release of ill prisoners and those who have already done their time but are still kept as hostages.

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