Three trade union leaders were among those prisoners freed on Thursday under the political amnesty decreed by King Juan Carlos in Spain.
SV PAN prisoners walk from prison to waiting relatives and friends
SV Prisoners greeted by waiting supporters (2 shots)
SV Prisoners posing for photographs (2 shots)
SV Prisoners talking to friends ZOOM TO police on other side of road
SV Prisoners leaving in cars
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Background: Three trade union leaders were among those prisoners freed on Thursday under the political amnesty decreed by King Juan Carlos in Spain.
SYNOPSIS: The men were jailed in Madrid's Carabanchel prison until they were released. One of the three was Jesus Fernandez Naves, a former priest. He had called for a workers' revolution to avenge the deaths of five people in riots in the northern Basque city of Victoria last March. He and the other leaders had not been tried since their detention.
Their release brings to 41 the number of political prisoners and conscientious objectors who have been freed since the amnesty went into effect on Wednesday. It's not certain how many of the estimated 630 political prisoners would be released, but government sources have said the amnesty would be applied widely and only people directly responsible for killing or injuring someone would be excluded.
The amnesty has met with an angry reaction from common law prisoners and their families. They have staged several protests, including hunger strikes, public demonstrations and a "sit-in" in a church. They believe the amnesty should be extended to common law prisoners as well. Prisoners in Carabanchel jail also staged a revolt last Saturday.