The James Connolly Society is supporting Benat Atorrasagasti, a Basque political prisoner currently being held in Saughton Prison in Edinburgh. Benat has lived openly in Scotland for many years and is now facing European extradition warrants from Spain and France. The JCS have been involved in solidarity work with the Basque Country for many years. In 1993 The JCS hosted a visit to Scotland from Basque political party Herri Batasuna. This was the first visit of its kind and involved meetings with various political parties, including the SNP. Since then Herri Batasuna have been banned by the Spanish state. Many other political parties, community organisations and newspapers have also been banned by the Spanish state over the intervening years.
The Spanish state has a disgraceful record of denying Basque rights. In the context of definitive end of ETA’s armed struggle the Spanish Government should be engaging discussions and making a positive contribution to the search for a political resolution. It should not be targeting Basque’s living abroad as it has been doing in recent months.
Benat has a job and a family, including two young children, in Scotland. The JCS is supporting Benat in his is fight against extradition. We are calling on the SNP government to intervene and allow Benat and his family to get on with their life in Scotland. We would like to thank our members who have already provided assistance to Benat and his family at this time.