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Crowe calls on Spanish Government to act on Basque Peace Process and prisoner issue

9 January, 2015 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Fein Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has called on the Spanish Government to put aside its own party political difficulties and engage more proactively in the Basque Peace Process.

Crowe was speaking ahead of an expected huge rally in Bilbao in support of Political Prisoners that will collectively call for movement on the prisoner issue from the Spanish Government with aim of their eventual release.

Deputy Seán Crowe said;

“On behalf of Sinn Féin I want to extend our solidarity wishes to all those who will be supporting Saturday’s hugely important Political Prisoner Rally in Bilbao.  

“The Spanish Government needs to put aside its own party political difficulties to promote and support a meaningful process of dialogue in order to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Basque Country.

“The release of General Secretary of SORTU, Arnaldo Otegi, would signal an important and symbolic first step in this process. He has been a key player in the promotion and building of the fledgling peace process and his liberation would send an important message that the Spanish government is serious about grasping this historic opportunity.

“Irelands own difficult peaceful transition highlighted the need for confidence building measures and more importantly movement that would create more positive change in the peace process and overall society.

“The 370 Basque prisoners who have been dispersed far from their homes for supposedly security reasons in this new environment need to be transferred closer to their families and seriously ill prisoners released immediately.

“The overall aim should be to release these politically motivated prisoners and allowing them to be peace builders and drivers for change.

“Prison releases and many other peaceful related measures would in my opinion, facilitate progress and enhance conditions in the Peace Process.

“The Spanish Government needs to resist the option of playing to a negative audience and pro-actively engage in working towards long term peace and reconciliation.”


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