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  • icon Aiete & International Initiatives
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Tag Archives: basque political prisoners

They treated Xabier worse than a dog

The brother of the Basque political prisoner from Basuari who died last Saturday in the Parisian hospital at Petriere, speaks with rage and emotion close to the surface. He denounces the inhumane treatment that the French authorities and doctors gave to the Basque prisoner and his family and friends. Also, he puts into doubt the official version offered by French authorities, stating that Xabier Lopez Peña left on foot from the prison at Fleury and that, just as was explained by the doctor who operated on him, the heart operation turned out “perfect”. The case brings up many doubts.

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Weekly news bulletin nº121

25 March-1 April

The cruel penitentiary policy causes the death of a Basque political prisoner.
ETA regarding the situation of the process.
Conference in the European Parliament.
Thousands of people demand independence for the Basque Country.

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Regarding the death of Xabier Lopez Peña

The death of Xabier Lopez Peña again puts in evidence the fatal consequences of a penitentiary policy that violates elemental rights and that introduces 600 Basque political prisoners into a terrible and constant Russian roulette. The penitentiary policy generates immense suffering and pain in thousands of people. And it is precisely when Basque society wishes to leave behind violations of rights and that no other death again occurs as a consequence of a conflict that has gone on for too long, the penitentiary policy continues to kill.

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Weekly news bulletin nº120

20-25 March
International initiative demanding respect for the rights of the prisoners.
Sufficient conditions exist for dealing with a dialogue process for the integral resolution to the conflict.
March 27th, a debate about the situation of Basque political prisoners in the European Parliament.
In Brief.

International initiative demanding respect for the rights of the prisoners

Twelve personalities from the international sphere ask for Madrid and Paris to take steps in prison matters.

Twelve personalities from distinct professions and geographical origins with a wide experience in the defence of human rights have subscribed to the declaration “On the Path to Peace, Respect Prisoners’ Rights”. In this declaration the signers demand that Madrid and Paris adopt a series of measures with the idea of consolidating the peace process.

The signers consider that after the International Conference of Aiete and the later announcement by ETA of a definitive cessation of armed activity there was created a “unique and historic opportunity to address the causes as well as the consequences of the conflict”. They affirm that it is time to put an end to the exceptional measures that had been adopted.

They specified their demand to the Spanish and French authorities in four petitions that they consider will be a first step in consolidating the peace process. These four demands are:

  • The end of the policy of dispersion, arbitrary measure applied to Basque prisoners and their transfer to prisons close to their families.
  • The release of prisoners to whom the Spanish courts apply the Doctrine 197/2006 (also called “Parot Doctrine”); as well as the release of those prisoners who can be eligible for parole.
  • The immediate release of seriously ill prisoners who according to current legislation should be set free in order to receive adequate treatment for their illnesses.
  • The immediate release of Arnaldo Otegi and all the imprisoned for their mere opinion or political activity, developed in political parties, youth organizations, and social movements or in the media. The dismissal of the processes related to this issues, as well as, the removal of all the European arrest warrants that may have been issued for actions of the same type.

Among the signers of the document are important lawyers, senators, and recognized defenders of human rights. All united in demand for the rights of Basque political prisoners.

Sufficient conditions exist for dealing with a dialogue process for the integral resolution to the conflict

Evaluation of the latest political events made by SORTU.

The spokespersons of SORTU, Amaia Izko and Pernando Barrena, pointed out the commitment, desire and agreement of a social and political majority of the Basque Country for the definitive solution and in keys of justice and democracy of the political conflict. In contrast to this posture they criticized that the government of Madrid tries to put obstacles and even sabotage towards political and democratic normalization.

As an example of that they enumerated some of the latest events that have happened in the Basque Country in the past weeks (the celebration of the Social Forum, the hearing in Strasbourg about the case of Ines del Rio, or the parliamentary session on the resolution of the conflict in the autonomous Parliament) and the postures adopted for them by the different political agents.

Once more they remarked on the value of the Declaration of Aiete as a valid roadmap for the definitive resolution of the conflict. Together with this declaration, the confirmed desire of ETA to take on a dialogue with the Spanish and French states directed towards the resolution of the consequences of the conflict and the desire on the part of the international community to accompany the process leads them to affirm that sufficient conditions exist to deal with all its dimensions and consequences a dialogue process for the integral resolution to the conflict.

Basque society has to be the main protagonist of the process of solutions. With that, the experience and contributions made from the international sphere is also considered to be very important by the members of SORTU.

They consider it indispensable that on the path of a resolution the knowledge of the whole truth and the responsibility of all of the agents. They believe that political dialogue has to be a key for achieving the overcoming of the conflict.

Finally, the spokespersons of SORTU expressed their desire to continue contributing in all the initiatives for the solutions, such as those of a social character as well as in those that are developed in diverse institutions.

March 27th, a debate about the situation of Basque political prisoners in the European Parliament

The European Parliament in Brussels will hold an international conference about the role of prisoners in resolution processes.

Basque Friendship and the Group the Greens-EFA, have organized for Wednesday March 27th a conference in the European Parliament about the question of prisoners in the resolution process in the Basque Country.

Under the title “Prisoners, Key to Peace?” they will talk about different experiences dealing with the contribution of political prisoners in different resolution processes.

Intervening in the conference will be Gabi Mouesca from the Basque Country, Robert McBride from South Africa, Avila Kilmurray from Ireland and Nelly Maes from Flanders and the Flemish Institute of Peace. Among the public they expect a wide representation of Basque political parties.

In Brief

The Grand Chamber of Strasbourg must decide about the 197/2006 Doctrine: Last Wednesday the hearing was held about the appeal presented by the Spanish state about the case of the Basque political prisoner Ines del Rio. After both parts presented their arguments, the members of the Chamber retired to deliberate. The sentence will become known in a few months, although there is no fixed time set. Meanwhile, on the streets of the Basque Country, mobilizations against this Doctrine took place and in demand for the release of the prisoners to whom it has been applied.

Otegi and Eguiguren, winners of the “Gernika for Peace” prize: The Basque politicians Arnaldo Otegi and Jesus Eguiguren, received this year the prize “Gernika for Peace and Reconciliation”, which is annually awarded in the foral village every April 26th, coinciding with the anniversary of the bombardment of 1937.

Weekly news bulletin nº119

12-19 March
Contributions to promote the peace process.
March 20th, a key day for Human Rights.

Contributions to promote the peace process.

A rain of ideas to advance in the peace process could be heard in the Social Forum celebrated last week.

The Social Forum celebrated last week in Bilbao and Iruñea (Pamplona) counted on the presence of numerous international experts in resolution processes. The forum that devolved in four sessions in each of which they took on subject related to the international experts who from their experience tried to deal with a resolution to the conflict and to try to contribute and advance towards a resolution.

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Free Otegi – Free Them All

Website of the International Declaration to free Arnaldo Otegi & to bring Basque political prisoners home:

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