Demonstration in Bilbao in favour of prisoners rights

01/08/2011

A demonstration organized by the Basque movement “Egin dezagun urratsa” will march through the Basque city of Bilbao on Saturday to demand more rights for jailed members of the armed Basque separatist group ETA.

According to the online edition of the Basque newspaper Gara, the website of mentioned group was supported by 5,000 people. Moreover, the demostration is backed by the Basque left wing party, Basque Nationalist EA party, Aralar, Alternatiba and Abertzaleen Batasuna, the association of relatives of Basque separatists armed group ETA prisoners Etxerat, and several trade unions such as ELA, LAB, ESK, STEE-EILAS, EHNE and Hiru.

The demosntration will start at 5,30pm from Aita Donosti square in Bilbao under the slogan “Egin dezagun urratsa. Eskubide guztiekin euskal presoak, Euskal Herrira” (“Let’s take a step forward. With all their rights, Basque prisoners to the Basque Country”).

The rally was organized on November 13th by several representatives of the political, social and trade unions sphere during an event that took place in Durango (Bizkaia) where they denounced the violation of prisoners rights.

Pedraz allows Basque prisoner march, advises caution

Judge Santiago Pedraz ordered Security Forces to keep close watch on the march to ensure there is no endorsement of terrorism.

Pedraz gave his permission for the protest at the same time as he advised security forces to organise close patrols to ensure that no acts take place that aim to promote terrorism.

The judge, on duty this week, made the ruling at the request of Public Prosecutor Jesus Alonso during an act in which he concluded that there was no “basis for supposing that either ETA or any terrorist organisation is behind the call (to protest)… or that there is any intention to endorse (ETA), its methods or its members, or to discredit or humiliate any of its victims”.

The Association for Victims of Terrorism (AVT), Dignity and Justice and Voices Against Terrorism all called for the march to be forbidden claiming that to hold the demonstration would be committing the crime of praising terrorism and that demanding recognition of the rights of Basque political prisoners “is nothing more than an excuse to pay tribute to the members of ETA”.

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