Treatment of Basque Political Prisoners shows Hypocrisy of European Establishment on Human Rights
With the passing of the report on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU by the European Parliament, it committed itself in words to human rights. However, the flagrant disregard of those rights for Basque political prisoners shows the hypocrisy of the European establishment. According to Herrira, a campaigning group for Basque prisoners, there are currently 13 prisoners kept in prison despite being seriously ill. This is putting these people’s lives at risk and as depriving them of appropriate medical treatment and basic human dignity.
This was illustrated by the case of Iosu Uribetxeberria, who was finally released in September, five years after he was first diagnosed with kidney cancer. Authorities would not grant his release, despite his prison governor being clear that they did not have the appropriate facilities to treat him. This has led to serious deterioration in his health and now the cancer is irreversible.
As well as this cruel policy; the policy of extending the terms of prisoners who are approaching their release date must be ended and all prisoners should have the right complete their sentences in the prison closest to their place of residence.
All political prisoners should be released as part of real peace process where the people of the Basque Country should be free to decide their future democratically. A mass struggle linking the democratic rights of the Basque people with the need for united struggle of workers across the Spanish state would lay the basis for a socialist Basque country as part of a free and voluntary socialist federation of the Iberian peninsula.