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3 February 2013 Edition

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115,000 call for release of Basque POWs

“Resolution processes all over the world have shown us that the issue of political prisoners is fundamental in reaching a lasting peace scenario.

MORE than 115,000 people took part in a massive rally in the centre of the Basque capital of Bilbao on 12 January to demand the release of the hundreds of Basque political prisoners still being held in Spanish and French jails. Organisers say that their release is key to a succesful peace process.

Basque Abertzale Left international representative Gorka Elejabarrieta, who spoke at the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis in Killarney last year, said:

“Resolution processes all over the world have shown us that the issue of political prisoners is fundamental in reaching a lasting peace scenario.

“Does anybody seriously believe that the peace process in Ireland would have been possible without the release of prisoners? Does anybody think that the peace process in South Africa could have ended with Nelson Mandela still in prison?

“In the Basque Country as well, a lasting peace process should bring the release of all prisoners.”

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