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Sinn Féin MEP demands end to Basque extradition attempts

5 October, 2009 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has stated that the attempts by the Spanish government to extradite two members of the Basque community from Ireland should be abandoned and that the men should be free to live their lives in Ireland.

Speaking on the day of the hearing for one of the men, Arturo Villanueva, Ms de Brún said:

“The latest hearings in the high court in Belfast against Arturo ‘Beñat’ Villanueva and later in the month against Iñaki de Juana are the continuation of attempts by the Spanish government to see these men extradited to Spain.

“The two men are essentially being pursued solely for their political ideas and the extradition attempts are purely political on behalf of the Spanish authorities and this needs to be challenged and rejected.

“We have already expressed our concerns at the levels of criminalisation in the Basque Country and the fact that legislation remains in place to ban political parties and a range of cultural and youth organisations, one of which the Spanish authorities are alleging that Arturo Villanueva was a member.

“Both men have been living openly in Ireland and Sinn Féin supports the demand for Inaki Iñaki de Juana and Arturo Villanueva to continue to do so.”

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