Banned Basque party faces call to stop assembly

13th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

13 January 2006, MADRID — The high commissioner for the support of terrorist victims has called for a ban on the convention planned by Batasuna, the outlawed political wing of ETA.

13 January 2006

MADRID — The high commissioner for the support of terrorist victims has called for a ban on the convention planned by Batasuna, the outlawed political wing of ETA.

Gregorio Peces-Barba asked the attorney general in a letter to stop the planned Batasuna convention going ahead on 21 January.

He said he was worried about the effect on victims of terrorism if the meeting was allowed.

The move comes after attorney general Candido Conde-Pumpido met Basque prosecutors to try to determine if the assembly of the outlawed party should be banned.

High court judge Fernando Grande-Marlaska ordered police to gather intelligence on whether the group was 'politically active', which could lead to a ban on the assembly.

Bastasuna, which was banned in 2003 and prohibited from holding any kind of political event the year before, has been excluded from politics because of its links to ETA.

Despite the ban, individual members are not stopped from being politically active and the group has remained influential.

Prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has refused to be drawn into the row, instead he remained ambiguous when asked how the Parties Law which led to the banning of Batasuna should be applied.

"The Parties Law is very restrictive and should be applied very delicately, taking into account the individual rights and freedoms that are protected by the Spanish constitution," he said.

Part of the reason Zapatero did not want to say more is he won approval from parliament last year to hold talks with ETA if the Basque terrorist group ends its armed struggle.

Any ban on the assembly could jeopardise any inroads to future talks.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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