Spain bans demos in favour of ETA prisoners

16th August 2009, Comments 0 comments

Spanish judges have banned demonstrations in support of jailed members of the Basque separatist organisation ETA, leading to one being broken up by police.

Madrid - Spanish judges have banned demonstrations in support of jailed members of the Basque separatist organisation ETA, leading to one being broken up by police.

Several hundred demonstrators brandishing placards clashed with police late Friday in the centre of the northern Spanish city of San Sebastian after it was banned by leading judge Baltasar Garzon.

Another judge, Eloy Velasco, forbade a second demonstration planned for San Sebastian on Saturday by the organisation of families of ETA prisoners, Etxerat, saying it could be used to justify terrorism.

The authorities have scored a a series of recent successes against ETA, blamed for 828 deaths in its campaign for independence for the Basques of northern Spain and southern France in 41 years.

They are now cracking down on all social and political connections with the armed group, which is branded a terrorist organisation by the European Union, in a bid to deprive it of all support.

Also late Friday, police burst into premises used by the radical left in the city of Bilbao to remove pictures of ETA prisoners.

Earlier this week a court stopped Arnaldo Otegi, head of the banned ETA-linked political party Batasuna, from going to France for his holidays, suspecting him of seeking to raise support for ETA there.

AFP / Expatica

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