25 June 2009 Edition

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Mála Poist

Cuireann An Phoblacht fáilte roimh litreacha ónár léitheoirí. Scríobh i nGaeilge nó i mBéarla, 200 focal ar a méid. Déantar giorrú ar litreachta más gá. Cuir do litir chuig [email protected]
An Phoblacht welcomes readers’ letters. Write in Irish or English, 200 words maximum. Letters may be edited for brevity. Send your letters to [email protected] No attachments please

‘Don’t Extradite the Basques’ campaign says thanks

ON behalf of the ‘Don’t Extradite the Basques’ campaign, we’d like to thank all those who attended the campaign’s first fund-raiser on Saturday night and made it a great success. More than 100 people from the west Belfast community and beyond came along to enjoy the night and show their support for the campaign to prevent the extraditions of west Belfast-based Basque activists Iñaki de Juana and Beñat Villanueva.
As well as all the supporters who attended, we would also like to thank Casadh and DJ Red Rasta for supporting the campaign and doing great performances, An Chultúrlann for providing the venue and Fáilte Feirste Thiar for providing a raffle prize.
Unfortunately, Iñaki and Beñat were unable to attend because they have to live under curfews as part of their bail restrictions but all present watched short interviews with both activists explaining their cases as well as a documentary detailing horrific torture against Basque political prisoners by Spanish police.
The Spanish Government is trying to extradite Iñaki under charges of “glorifying terrorism”  because a letter was read at a rally celebrating his release from prison last August that used a Basque phrase meaning “Forward with the ball”. There is no evidence that Iñaki was the author of the letter or that the phrase is “glorifying terrorism”.
Beñat Villanueva, who’s a well-known member of the west Belfast community, where he has lived since 2004, is facing extradition proceedings for doing public, peaceful political work in the Basque Country during the 1990s as part of the Basque pro-independence youth movement. He is charged with being a member of a “terrorist” organsiation from 1994-2000 – when the said organisation was not made illegal by the Spanish Government until 2005 and not declared “terrorist” until 2007.
The extradition attempts are part of Spain’s anti-democratic attacks on the rights of the Basque people, attacks the people of west Belfast understand all too well.
The ‘Don’t Extradite the Basques’ campaign urges people to support the efforts against these extraditions in whatever way you can – by telling your friends and family about the cases, signing the petition against the extraditions or participating in upcoming events.
For more information visit www.dontextraditethebasques.org.
Thanks again for your support.


Judges and pay cuts

THE comments today (Monday 22 June) from Chief Justice Murray goes to show you how far removed this special elite are from the everyday lives of real people.
I suppose when you earn over €200,000 per year it is hard to remember that you might want to pay some money back and help your country or show sympathy to those who live in the real world
Dublin 22


Election omission

WE in the Cork North-West constituency were disappointed that there was no mention in your report on the local elections of the Sinn Féin candidate, Donie Kelleher, who worked extremely hard and polled a creditable 500+ votes.
Please would you print this letter to rectify the omission?

EDITOR SAYS: We are truly sorry for missing out Donie’s fine performance and extend our apologies to everyone who worked on the Sinn Féin campaign in Cork North-West as well as Donie himself.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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