Three Basque activists nabbed in south west

31st May 2006, Comments 0 comments

BORDEAUX, France, May 30, 2006 (AFP) - Three French Basque activists were arrested Tuesday in the Basque region of southwestern France at the request of a French anti-terrorist judge, sources close to the investigation said.

BORDEAUX, France, May 30, 2006 (AFP) - Three French Basque activists were arrested Tuesday in the Basque region of southwestern France at the request of a French anti-terrorist judge, sources close to the investigation said.

The Basque political prisoners support group Askatasuna issued statements confirming the arrest of Jon Oihenart, in the town of Isturitz, Ainara Goni, a 24-year-old employee at a school in the town of Ciboure, and Benat Trounday, a resident in Hendaye.

Askatasuna — which was banned in Spain in 2002 for its alleged links to the armed Basque separatist movement ETA — called for a rally late Tuesday to protest over the arrests, which they said threatened the peace process in the Basque region.

"The French state must stop using its repressive tools against the Basques, it must recognize it is directly implicated in the conflict and that it must get involved in seeking a resolution to the conflict," said Askatasuna spokesman Jean-Francois Lefort.

The Spanish news agency Europa Press reported, quoting anti-terrorist sources, that the trio were arrested for suspected links to ETA, which has been blamed for 800 deaths in its four-decade campaign for independence.

The separatist movement declared a permanent ceasefire in March, paving the way for a possible end to 40 years of violence.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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