[Sinn Fein]

21st February 2003

De Brún calls on Spanish to end repression and open dialogue

Sinn Fein spokesperson on Equality and Justice Bairbre de Brún, speaking at the beginning of Slógadh Shinn Fein in Armagh this afternoon, criticised the closing down of the Basque language newspaper Egunkaria by the Spanish authorities yesterday. She called on the Spanish to bring an end to repression and open dialogue. Ms. de Brun said:

There is growing concern at the deterioration of the situation and the absence of any dialogue or process to move the situation forward. The banning of Batasuna and a whole range of Basque language and culture organisations and the wide-ranging measures of repression and censorship in force right across Basque society are wrong and should end immediately.

Our experience of conflict resolution has shown that the only way that progress will occur is on the basis of inclusive dialogue based on equality and respect. It is crucial that channels of communication are kept open even in the most difficult of circumstances. I am calling on the Spanish authorities to bring an end to repression and open dialogue immediately. ENDS

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