ETA prisoners start hunger strike

ETA prisoner begin hunger strike in protest against Spain’s prison system for convicted terrorists

EPPK, the group representing ETA prisoners has announced that prisoners in this group will begin a hunger strike today in protest against prison conditions for convicted ETA terrorists. This announcement applies to ETA prisoners in Spanish and French prisons. In a letter published in the Basque newspaper Gara it said that ‘we do not have to accept isolation or dispersion and we hold out our hands to those who are prepared to fight against this’.

EPPK says that the hunger strike is the first phase of protest after 12th January when ETA prisoners remained in their cells. The objective of the protest is to get both the Spanish and French governments to change their policies on the way ETA prisoners are treated in the prison system. In the letter to Gara, which was not published in full, EPPK accused the policy towards ETA prisoners as ‘criminal’ and demanded that the 742 prisoners in this group be recognised as political prisoners.

EPPK also added that on 18th January ETA prisoners in France and Spain held a protest against the disappearance of Jon Anza and announced that a protest would be held on 18th of every month.

This latest announcement is the third communication that Gara has received so far this year from this group. The first announced a new ‘dynamic struggle’ against repressive measures and said that it amounted to a ‘new political cycle’ for the Basque Country’.

This communication also said that five people had ‘decided to leave’ EPPK. The five prisoners expelled from this group are: Iñaki Rekarte, Valentín Lasarte, Esteban Murillo, Jorge Urruñuela and Andoni Muñoz.