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Ógra Shinn Féin slam Batasuna Leader's Arrest

11 June, 2007

The National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin Barry McColgan, has slammed today's arrest and detention of Batasuna Leader Arnaldo Otegi and Basque Hunger striker Inaki De Juana Chaos and called for their immediate release.

He said,

"This is the latest manifestation of Spanish State oppression and violence in the Basque Country, a further demonstration of their constant frustrating of a fragile peace process."

"The oppression wrought upon those who rightly fight for Basque Independence, has intensified over previous months and has culminated today in these very intentionally provocative acts of oppression."

"Ógra Shinn Féin has travelled to the Basque Country twice this year at the invite of our comrades in the Basque youth movement SEGI. They have been banned, deemed a 'terrorist organisation' and have had their entire national leadership imprisoned for up to 6 years. We witnessed at first hand the brutality of the Spanish State and had our activists detained and searched by the Guardia Civil."

"It is obvious from our first hand experience of the Basque Struggle, that although they suffer very direct oppression, the Basque people want a lasting peace, but the violence and unwillingness by the Spanish State has at times made this impossible."

"Ógra Shinn Féin calls for the immediate release of Arneldo Otegi, Inaki De Juana Chaos, and the entire SEGI leadership. We also call on the Spanish State to end these acts of oppression in the Basque Country and to enter into a meaningful dialogue that will lead to proper conflict resolution and a lasting peace."

"We launched an online petition last month calling for the immediate release of the imprisoned SEGI leadership; please add your opposition to Spanish State oppression by signing at:"

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