Basque Hunger Strike
Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has welcomed the decision by Basque prisoner Iñaki de Juana to end his hunger strike, but has expressed concern about the circumstances that led to the hunger strike in the first place.
Ms de Brún said:
"Everyone is greatly relieved to hear that Iñaki de Juana has ended his hunger strike and that he has been moved to a hospital nearer his home. I had expressed my deep concern about his condition to the Spanish prison authorities some time ago and was awaiting permission to go and visit him.
"I continue to be concerned about the circumstances that led to the hunger strike in the first place. Iñaki de Juana had come to the end of his sentence and should have expected to be released. Instead he faced further charges and a further lengthy prison sentence on the basis of an article he wrote from prison which was intended to give a boost to the process of peace building in the Basque country.
"That sentence has now been reduced from twelve years to three and Iñaki de Juana has ended his hunger strike. That is to be welcomed.
"I call on the Spanish authorities to end their policy of repression against Basque prisoners and against the political party Batasuna. I also call on the Irish government to become an advocate for peace and to use their influence to persuade the Spanish government to fully embrace dialogue and self determination as the way forward." ENDS
Note to Editor: Bairbre de Brún MEP will speak in favour of motion 15 on the Basque peace process at he Sinn Féin ard fheis this evening.