The Spanish government announced on Friday the transfer of five former members of the Basque separatist organization ETA to prisons in the Basque Country (north), de facto ending their "dispersion" in remote prisons
This policy had been applied since the 1980s by Spanish governments of both left and right to prevent links between members of ETA, an organization to which more than 850 deaths are attributed in more than 40 years of violence, and their entourage.
It assumed their incarceration in prisons located up to 900 km from the Basque Country.
Anger of the Association of Victims of Terrorism
Since the accession to power in 2018 of the socialist Pedro Sánchez, a few weeks after the self-dissolution of ETA, the Spanish government has gradually transferred dozens of ex-ETA members to prisons in the Basque Country or of neighboring provinces.
Prison authorities have coordinated with the Justice Department of the Basque (regional) government the transfer of five convicts for terrorism
," the Interior Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Among these five detainees is Irantzu Gallastegui Sodupe, nicknamed “
”, companion of “
”, one of the former leaders of ETA.
Incarcerated since 2005, she was sentenced to 30 years in prison, including for several murders.
These latest transfers have angered the Association of Victims of Terrorism (AVT).
Responsible for bringing together 100% of ETA prisoners in prisons in the Basque Country and Navarre
”, the government of Pedro Sánchez has shown “
that it (was) on the side of the terrorists and not their victims
”, has denounced this organization in a press release.
"A cycle of prison policy is coming to an end"
Heir to the political showcase of ETA, the Basque separatist party EH Bildu, which regularly supports the texts of the left-wing government of Pedro Sánchez in Parliament, welcomed the end of this policy.
A cycle of prison policy is coming to an end, a cycle whose only gain has been the cruel prolongation of the suffering
" of the families of imprisoned ETA members, whom this formation still considers "
", declared its coordinator Arnaldo Otegi, himself a former member of ETA.
Main formation of the right-wing opposition, the Popular Party (PP), like the AVT, denounced this decision through the voice of its leader in the Basque Country, Carlos Iturgaiz, who accused Mr. Sánchez, by "bringing all
the ETA criminals
" from the Basque Country, to pay a "
" to Arnaldo Otegi in exchange for EH Bildu's support for his government.