About 2,000 people gathered this Saturday night in support of the Basque prisoners for a two-kilometer “human light chain” in Bayonne, in southwestern France.
With bright white umbrellas in hand, protesters chanted the slogan “Uskel arrests Ezra” in Basque (“Basque prisoners at home”) and spread on the banks of the Nive River, which runs through the city, responding to the appeal of the peace movement Pac Pitiya.
This human current epidemic has changed the traditional annual event that runs through the city. Prior to the rally, organizers said it was “a way to put the theme of the Basque prisoners on the table and show that we are focused on future decisions.”
Seven thousand ten thousand people were present at the January 11, 2020 march.
At the end of October, Frederick “Gister” Harampur, a former member of the ETA Command, after serving more than 66, 30 years in prison, said Michael Berhogorikoin, a member of the “Peace Craftsmen” working to achieve a peace process in the Basque country.
“But it’s a cold shower, with Thursday’s decision to re – arrest Michael Barrios,” the activist added.
Barrios, 32, was released in October and is awaiting trial again after being sentenced in June. On Thursday, the Paris Court of Appeal sentenced him to five years in prison for joining the separatist organization ETA.
After the opening of negotiations with the French government, above all, with the disarmament of the organization, on April 8, 2017, and a year after its announcement of dissolution, 60 years later, activists are calling for the immediate release of prisoners such as Jacques Esnel, Iron Kepa Barod or iPhone Fernandez Iradi. Those who have been in prison for 30 years or are seriously ill.
To date, 32 former ETA members are still being held in French prisons.
This Saturday, more than 200 rallies were organized simultaneously in the Spanish Basque country by the “Chere” movement, which campaigned for the release of 200 former ETA members imprisoned in Spain.