28 January 2010

Basque political prisoners start hunger strike.

The Basque Political Prisoners Association announced on Monday 25th that from that day the 746 prisoners will embark on a hunger strike. Previously they have been engaged in other protests such as refusing to leave their cells, refusing to take visits, make phone calls or receive letters, and forming picket lines in the recreation yards.

On the 18th of January they protested and demanded information concerning the disappearance of former political prisoner Jon Anza who went missing on the 18th of April last year. They will continue organising such protests every month until the disappearance is resolved.

With the protests they also wanted to demand the end of isolation and to show solidarity to the comrades who are kept alone in different jails. The association sent their full support to Lorentxa Gimon who started a hunger strike on the 2nd of January to demand her transfer to another French prison where more comrades are kept. She has lost 10 kilos so far.

They announced the hunger strike’s main demand is political status.

More details are expected to be released in coming days.

Meanwhile on the outside, a press conference took place on Saturday organised by former prisoners and members of the prisoner’s solidarity movement. A speaker at the event told journalists of the hard living conditions the Basque political prisoners have to endure and stressed they are part and consequence of the conflict, and in that way they are crucial in the resolution of it. They encouraged social and political forces to commit themselves to bringing about a new political scenario in the Basque Country based on democracy.

The Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said the Basque prisoners won’t get their objectives and highlighted the Spanish prison regime is the hardest in Europe with maximum sentences of 40 years to be fulfilled to the end. 

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