Madrid condemns Basque government over support for ETA prisoner rally

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The Spanish government has criticised the leaders of the Basque regional authority for backing a protest calling for ETA prisoners to be released.

For the first time both the nationalist right and left parties joined forces in support of jailed members of the Basque separatist group ETA.

Tens of thousands took part in a march in Bilbao last night.

Joseba Egibar, PNV spokeperson said there must be respect for human rights: “Dialogue and the agreements have to be the basis of relationships between political organisations, and that includes ETA itself. This is what the Basque society demands.”

Although’s Spain’s high court ordered the release of ETA prisoners last year, the Madrid government has retroactively applied legislation to block the move.

ETA is accused of killing more than 800 people over more than four decades. Victims of the group say the march made a mockery of their suffering.

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