Jean-Noël Etcheverry, Txetx, one of the artisans of peace involved in ETA’s disarmament and in the relations between the Basque delegation and the French government announced on January 13th that the French Government doesn’t oppose a process of moving Basque prisoners to the prisons of Mont-de-Marsan and Lannemezan and that these transfers will begin in a few weeks.

The spokesman of the French Ministry of Justice, Youssef Badr, has confirmed that the prisoners will be transferred in the next weeks, always case by case. Badr stressed that the decisions will be taken in accordance with the French Code of Criminal Procedure and that the Ministry of Justice works in concert with the Spanish authorities. The French Ministry of Justice will study individually the requests for rapprochement of the detainees, as well as the requests to lift the DPS statute, the acronym of “detainee particularly indicated” (security profile).

The announcement has been welcome by institutions and parties all around the Basque Country. The President of the Basque institution in the north, Jean-René Etchegaray has stated that he expects that the announced rapprochement is big enough to fulfil the expectations of citizens. The elected representatives in the north, which have been involved in a dialogue with the Justice Ministry, have added that if this rapprochement takes place,  other issues such as early release of seriously ill prisoners and parole should also be considered.