Written answers

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Human Rights

Photo of Maureen O'SullivanMaureen O'Sullivan (Dublin Central, Independent)
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52. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if progress has been made on the number of Basques in prison five years after ETA ceased the armed struggle; and if there can be a resolution at EU level. [53200/19]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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As I have stated previously, the management of a State’s prison and judicial system is a matter for the Government and the relevant competent authorities in each European Union Member State, in accordance with domestic, European and international law. As such, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on the matter in question.

This issue is a legacy of a more troubled time in Spain’s past and it is important that we do not forget the victims of terrorism: those who have died and those for whom pain and suffering still endure.

I am aware that the issue of prisoners is a sensitive and complex one. However, decisions on such specific matters clearly fall within the jurisdiction of the Spanish authorities and need to be decided in line with the relevant legal and constitutional provisions in Spain. I therefore do not see a role for Ireland or the EU in this matter.

The Government will continue to monitor the situation in the Basque regions in France and Spain.


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