68,000 people demand the disappearance of exceptional standards in prison policy in Bilbao
  • Tens of thousands of people have filled the streets of Bilbao on Saturday at the demonstration to demand compliance with the rights of Basque political prisoners. Sare recalls that they are not claiming privileges and stresses that the “effort of the Basque plural society” will remain indispensable.
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Tens of thousands of citizens attended the annual demonstration in Bilbao on Saturday by Sare Herritarrek and Etxerat to defend the rights of Basque political prisoners. According to Naiz's estimate, 68,000 people have gathered, more than last year. According to the Municipal Police of Bilbao, 20,000 personas.Bajo gathered the motto Keys to the solution, Sare recalls that the next stage is peace: “Let us take the keys to the solution in our hands. Keys that close the doors to suffering. The keys that will open the doors to coexistence,” said Anaiz Funosas and Joseba Azkarraga in the closing event.

After the dispersal of prisoners, Sare regrets that they are still being treated exceptionally and will continue to fight to put an end to this: “Thanks to this collective effort, we are opening the way for Basque prisoners, refugees and deportees to return home.” They stress the need to defend the rights of prisoners among all, as well as the work of political parties, trade unions and social partners.

They demand that ordinary legislation be applied to prisoners, as many of the prisoners who would currently need the streets are in jail: “We demand the disappearance of exceptional rules in prison and judicial policy.” They say that the prisoners’ way home should be defined by the “Basque society”, but they ask political and judicial institutions to make “courageous and fair” political decisions. The demonstration on Saturday was supported by many political and social actors and Sare valued as an achievement.

Reply to the statements by Denis Itxaso

They report that the next step will be the solidarity of Beatrice Molle and Txetx Etxeberri, who will be tried at the Paris Criminal Court on 2 and 3 April, on the charge of transporting ETA arms, munitions and explosives during the disarmament process. They underline their work and express their support.

Sara has recalled that they are not claiming privileges and has rejected the statements of Denis Itxaso, representative of the Government of Spain in the CAV. In fact, Itxaso has pointed out in Euskadi Irratia that “ETA prisoners are subject to ordinary law”, “since the end of terrorism”. The spokesman for the Bego Atxa Network annuls and warns that the number of years of imprisonment in the French State, among others, is not yet taken into account: “He is well aware that what is being implemented is not standard legislation, but that which José María Aznar approved in 2005 to remove competences from local courts. This is accepted with ETA and we are not in that situation.”