Protests rock Basque country after new round of detentions

Thousands-strong protests were held in Bilbao Nov. 28 in reaction to the detainment of 34 members of a youth organization that Spanish authorities say is linked to the outlawed Basque separatist organization ETA. Two days earlier, angry protesters burned a bus and set fire to an underground station in the city. The suspected members of the illegal youth organization Segi were detained Nov. 24. The operation in the three Basque provinces and neighboring Navarre was ordered by the Audiencia Nacional justice Fernando Grande-Marlaska, who has been responsible for many sweeps against against accused ETA operatives.

Judicial authorities say Segi is a wing of ETA, which has killed more than 820 people since 1968. Segi members have also been blamed for outbreaks of kale borroka (street violence). Segi was outlawed in 2007, following a 2003 ban on the separatist party Batasuna, which was confirmed recently by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. (DPA, Nov. 28; Irish Times, Nov. 26; DPA, Nov. 24)

See our last post on the Basque struggle.

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