It has been 25 years since the Spanish government of the PSOE, with the consent of the PNV, put in march the dispersion of Basque Political Prisoners (sending to distant prisons and separating them from their loved ones) in a general and systematic way.
Currently 491 of Basque Political Prisoners are dispersed in 78 prisons, 51 in the Spanish state and 27 in the French state. 198 of these prisoners are to be found at more than 800 kilometres from their places of origin, another 211 are more than 400 kilometres away and only 3 are in the Basque Country.
Dispersion signifies and unjust suffering and a double violation of rights: that of the prisoners themselves and that of their families. It has as its objective to isolate the person, punish them, but also to punish the family. They punish the prisoners without medical attention, they move them away, they isolate them, they beat them, they deprive them of their most basic rights and still, they continue justifying these violations of rights. As the Spanish Home Secretary has recently done when he affirmed that the government will maintain dispersion, a new sign of the cruelty of the Spanish authorities.
They punish the families for just being members of their family. A punishment with consequences at a physical, psychological, social and family level, apart from being an enormous economic cost, and the lives that they have ahead of them. A punishment that brings us to travel an average of 1,500 kilometres every weekend.
25 years of this measure of revenge, not only towards the prisoners, but also towards their family and friends who are forced to travel hundreds and hundreds of kilometres, an average of 1,500 Km every weekend to be able to visit their loved ones. In these trips 16 family members and friends have died on their way to their visit. Deaths that are a direct consequence of a political decision adopted in 1989.
A cruel measure that as the majority of Basque society and numerous international agents demand, has to end. To ask for the end of this cruel policy, the association of family members and friends of the prisoners, Etxerat, called for diverse mobilizations coinciding with the anniversary of its application 25 years ago.