Press Conference of the Abertzale Left to Assess the Decision of the European Court of Human Rights

In the opinion of the Abertzale Left, the decision contrary to the lengthening of sentences imposed on Basque political prisoners made known today by the European Court of Human Rights is very important news.

Although the sentence responds to the appeal made by one specific prisoner, the content of the sentence makes evident that the so-called “Parot Doctrine” is irregular in its totality and in its essence. Strasbourg made it clear that Spain has violated the European Treaty on Human Rights by lengthening the sentences.

This ruling condemns the Government and the Spanish Judiciary for violating rights:

  • Because it makes clear that the 197/2006 doctrine supposes the violation of fundamental human rights.
  • And because it covers measures to mitigate the violation of these rights: setting free as soon as possible the person affected and with an economic compensation for the damage caused.

The Abertzale Left has repeated on many occasions, and knowing the important ruling from Strasbourg we ratify ourselves in it: the Parot Doctrine, the irregular lengthening of sentences is a measure that only responds to a strategy of war and revenge.

So, together with complying with the ruling made known today, the immediate release of Ines del Rio, the Spanish state must free the other 60 people affected by the application of the Parot Doctrine. These people have already completed the sentence imposed on them and their liberation should be a legal and political measure adopted without delay. Not only because we say so or because the respect for the rights of the prisoners is a demand of the majority in the Basque Country, but because the very European Court of Human Rights demands that it be so.

ERRONEOUS STRATEGY AGAINST PEACE

Apart from the unquestionable importance of the ruling adopted by the Court in Strasbourg we would like to stress the profound and unquestionable significance that said ruling carries from the perspective of the resolution process.

  • Since this past October 20th, once the definitive end of the armed struggle was decreed by ETA, the Spanish government committed to not take any positive steps that could favour the process (Zapatero before and Rajoy later). But, what is more serious, during the past months the PP, the PSOE and with the help of the PNV have passed from inflexibility to the policy of disruption. The Spanish government has committed to maintain the policies of exception against Basque citizens and for that they count on the inestimable support of the PSOE and the PNV.
  • A clear example of what we are saying can be verified in the hardening of the criminal penitentiary policy that is applied to Basque political prisoners, with special brutality during these past 6 months. The information has been taken from the annual report by Etxerat.
  • In respect to political arrests, instead of applying policies of distension, they have increased them, arresting Basque refugees with a normalized and totally public life.
  • Through the media, also week after week, they try to maintain uncertainty about the true desire of the ETA organization, knowing the unassailability of that decision as is witnessed by the measures adopted referring to the deactivation of policies of protection and security.
  • No to dialogue. This is their response while they insist on petitioning for ETA’s dissolution, knowing that disarming, and the deactivation of their military structures and in general all the consequences of the conflict, for it to be real and effective, it has to be done in an orderly way and with dialogue.

Now that the ruling is known and recalling the latest petitions which from different instances have been reclaiming the Spanish government in favour of a resolution to the conflict, it is clear that in the international sphere they don’t understand the posture that the government of the PP maintains against peace. It isn’t understood and even less so shared.

The construction of peace demands positive contributions. The Abertzale Left, on their part, reaffirms their commitment to go deeper in the process put in march 3 years ago now. We ask for the same level of commitment from the other agents, that they begin to act with responsibility that this historic moment demands, activating the two indispensable keys for a resolution: measures in favour of respecting all rights and dialogue at all levels. Take off the battledress and attend to the solicitudes of the Basque citizenry.

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