Saturday, January 24, 2004

Etxerat and Catalan Parliament

This was published today at Gara:

The president of the Catalan Parliament receives Etxerat

In Geneva they also had a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of the U.N.

Etxerat ended the tour it has been carrying out through Milan, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Barcelona and Geneva. Eyes have been fixed on happenings in the latter two cities, where they had meetings with the President of the Catalan Parliament and with representatives of the U.N Human Rights Commission.



Barcelona and Geneva were the centre of attention on the last day of the tour that relatives of Basque political prisoners have been carrying out through different European cities. For the duration of this informative tour they have been fasting.

The meeting held by Josu Cerrato and Miren Olaskoaga, representing prisoners' relatives, with the President of the Catalan parliament Ernest Benach (ERC), provoked a flood of criticism from the PP, the Collective of Victims of Terrorism (Covite), the Association of victims of Terrorism (AVT) and the Catalan Association of Victims of Terrorist Organisations (ACVOT).

After the meeting, Benach committed himself to bringing what is known as the Virreina Manifesto to the attention of the political groups that make up the chamber. This manifesto has been signed by 65 different groups and demands “the end to the policy of prisoner dispersal, distancing and isolation of Basque prisoners”.

However, outside these postures, Etxerat completed their agenda which was full of interviews and met with representatives of the UGT and CCOO trade unions; with Joan Herrera, parliamentarian for Initiative for Catalunya- and head of the list for the Spanish elections- Unió Democratica de Catalunya as well as Jordi Miralles of IU, and with members of Nunca Mais. Before the fast ended 500 people came together in the La Virreina square behind the banner “Basque prisoners to the Basque Country”.

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