Basque organisation Askapena commemorates political prisoners all over the world

Saturday 17 April was the international day of political prisoners. Demonstrations and online events were held everywhere around the world.

The Basque political organisation Askapena released a statement to mark 17 April was the international day of political prisoners.

The statement read: “Once more we must denounce the repression that we, the oppressed people, suffer. This day, as every year, we want to send our warmest greeting to all the political prisoners in the world and all the Basque political prisoners in particular.

The fact that there are political prisoners means that the peoples have chosen to fight for their freedom against the oppression. For this reason, political prisoners are a gross indicator of oppression, but also of the struggle of the people. Since 17 April of last year, there have been many instances of oppression and struggle.”

Askapena reminded the situation of “Dimitris Koufontinas, a Greek political prisoner” who “was forced to go on a hunger and thirst strike, after he was driven away and dispersed from Athens as the Greek Government’s revenge. It is the same government that was established in 2015 by the Troika without any embarrassment or dissemblance, not only far from the wishes and wants of the people, but also in defense of opposed interests.”

Askapena then reminded that “Kurdish political prisoners” are on “alternate hunger strikes for many months with the goal of demanding the end of the isolation imposed on Abdullah Öcalan and the rest of the political prisoners. We would like to remind that Abdullah Öcalan was arrested after the alliance of Turkey, Italy, Greece and other Western states. What’s more, the MI5, CIA, and Mossad participated in his arrest, among others. And we would also like to accuse the European Union for supplying money to the Turkish state, the same that keeps Turkish and Kurdish political prisoners in isolation and under torture, which in return closes access to the European Union to the refugees who have been forced to flee their countries due to imperialist wars.”

Askapena also underlined that as to the Basque Country, “hundreds of political prisoners remain in prison. Many of them have been released after being held hostage for more than 20 years (nearly 30 in many cases), which makes it clear that the states have no intention of overcoming the roots of the conflict. This attitude leaded to the death of Igor Gonzalez Sola. A warm embrace to his relatives and friends from Basque internationalists. Moreover, they still keep on arresting and imprisoning Basque revolutionaries. The huge shadow of the National Audience continues darkening the dawn. Definitely, this country still has a long and hard road to freedom.”