Thursday, November 26, 2009

New Statement from the Gernika Network

This statement was published at the Gernika Network's blog:

STATMENT of the Self-Determination GERNIKA NETWORK. 26th November 2009

More than two years ago, and exactly 70 years after the bombing of Gernika, we, elected representatives from different European countries, created the Gernika Network for Self-Determination of the Basque Country. The objectives of this network are: To promote at international and Institutional level the acknowledgement of the right to self-determination of the Basque Country. And to lobby in favour of a dialogued solution to the existing political conflict.

Political situation in the Basque Country has not improved in the last two years. Massive detentions of political leaders, long jail sentences against political activists, the use of torture, armed actions by ETA, police occupation, several sabotage actions against property and people, illegalisation of political parties.... are the tragic consequences of the conflict after the failure of the negotiating process.

On this current scenario the Abertzale Left has shown again its commitment to overcome blockades and find solutions to this tragic conflict. Fortunately today, we are in a position to acknowledge positive steps towards a resolution of the conflict. Last Saturday, 14th of November, the Abertzale Left presented what they called "A first step for the Democratic Process: principles and will of the Abertzale Left". In this document the Abertzale Left commits itself to a "democratic process" that "must be developed in a complete absence of violence and without interference, by the use of exclusively political and democratic means". It also considers that multiparty talks process "has to be conducted in accordance with the Mitchell principles ".

The document continues stating that " The resulting agreement should guarantee that all political projects could not only be defended with equal opportunities and without any pressure or external interference but they could also be implemented if that was the desire of the majority of the Basque citizenship, expressed though the available legal
procedures. "

We, members of the Gernika Network would like to welcome and applaud the initiative of the Abertzale Left. We believe that this statement facilitates a positive scenario for dialogue and agreement.

All parties involved in the conflict, and specially the Spanish State, should react positively to the initiative and should engage themselves in a multilateral agreement that is based on dialogue, peaceful and democratic means and entitles the Basques to decide upon their future freely.

We demand the immediate release of Arnaldo Otegi and all members of the Abertzale Left arrested last years because of their political activities, including former MPs, local elected representatives and former MEP Karmelo Landa whose release has been urged by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

We regret the new police operation against dozens of Basque youth activists. A peaceful and lasting settlement within the Basque Country will only be achieved when all citizens' civil and political rights are accorded full and proper respect.

Finally, we, MPs and elected representatives all over Europe, renew our compromise to work nationally and internationally for a peaceful and democratic solution to the conflict in the Basque Country. Therefore we call for all our colleagues around Europe and America, MPs and elected representatives, to promote a democratic peace process that will solve the ongoing conflict in the Basque Country based on the Basques rights to decide about their future.

Seems like the Spanish brutality displayed in the last couple of weeks has finally awakened the groups that support the Basque right to self determination.

.... ... .

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