The Social Forum has been working since its constitution in 2013, presenting its recommendations to promote the peace process and organising public meetings
The organisers of the Forum understood that there was a need to organise these new sessions in order to approach the issues of Prisoners and Citizen participation. The Forum counted with the participation of Political representatives, members of civil society organisations and citizens.
Citizen participation in the peace process
The meeting was focused on citizen participation in the peace process. The speakers addressed diverse experiences and tools to facilitate citizen involvement and to strengthen the role of society in the work to build coexistence. A pannel was set to specifically address the question of the participation of citizens in Navarre.
Both Kristian Herbolzheimer, from Conciliation Resources, and Theodore Murphy, Berghof Foundation, stressed the need to demystify direct negotiations as the only way of solution and emphasized that peace processes are much broader, Murphy addressed the ongoing National Dialogue in Sudan as a clear example.
The reintegration of prisoners and OTR
The meeting was based on one of the blocks of the recommendations presented in May 2013: the reintegration of prisoners and OTR (on the runs). Specifically, the discussion was centered on the ideas proposed a year ago and on the definition of new solutions.
The speakers included Jon Mirena Landa, Professor of Criminal Law and former Human Rights director for the Basque Government, Javier Mira, Professor of Criminal Law at the University of Valencia, Daniel Holder, deputy director of the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ), Jose Antonio Martin Pallin, emeritus Judge of the Spanish Supreme Court, Iñaki Lasagabaster, Professor of Administrative Law at the UPV-EHU and member of the Commission to promote the peace process and Brian Currin, Facilitator and member of the International Contact Group.
Mr Mira pointed out that according to the Spanish Constitution the current treatment of Basque Prisoners shouldn’t be allowed, this idea was reinforced by Mr Lasagabaster who stressed that the ECHR has ruled that the dispersion of prsioners is in breach of the European Charter of Human Rights.
Jose Antonio Martin Pallin insisted upon the same idea and added that the Spanish Judicature shouldn’t wait for the ECHR to rule against dispersion and should resolve this issue applying ordinary legislation to Basque prisoners. Brian Currin highlighted the role of prisoners on the Irish Peace Process and called for the right of Basque prisoners to play a role on the peace process to be respected.