Twelve young Basques began a 48-hour hunger strike in a chapel in Notre Dame Cathedral on Saturday (11 November).
LV River & Notre Dame cathedral
SV People inside cathedral
CU Demonstrator reading statement French SOF Starts: "Mes camarades..." Shots of demonstrators overlaid, seated with placards French SOF ends: "...et leurs enfants". Overlay begins at 20'.
SV Demonstrators seated
NOTRE DARE CATHEDRAL; PEOPLE INSIDE CATHEDRAL; DEMONSTRATOR READING STATEMENT; DEMONSTRATORS.
"My friends and myself have decided to fast for forty-eight hours to show our solidarity with our Basque comrades who are now on hunger strike in Bayonne. There are forty-seven of them in the Bayonne Cathedral, in St Andre Church, in Mauleon, Socoa and St Palais. Eleven are in Brussels and three in the Bayonne prison. We request the cancellation of all the administrative measures, repeat administrative, that have been taken without any court order. Secondly, the right for the Basques to live in the Basque country. Thirdly, the same rights for the Basque Political refugees that are already granted to other political refugees, that is to say, the right to live in France and in the Basque country together with their families and children."
Twelve young Basques on Saturday began a hunger strike in one of the world's best known cathedrals ... Notre Dame, Paris.
SOF BEGINS: "Mes camarades..."
SOF ENDS: "...at leurs enfants."
Initials ESP/0216 ESP/0232
A TRANSLATION OF THE DEMONSTRATOR'S STATEMENT FOLLOWS. ALTERNATIVE COMMENTARY IS PROVIDED.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Twelve young Basques began a 48-hour hunger strike in a chapel in Notre Dame Cathedral on Saturday (11 November). They claimed their strike was in support of other Basques who are on similar fasts in and around Bayonne. All the strikers are calling for a halt to what they term administrative harassment of Spanish Basque refugees who now live in France. In a speech in Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the demonstrators called for the release of three Basques recently imprisoned by French authorities.
SYNOPSIS: The twelve wee making their protest in support of similar groups who had been on hunger strike for almost two weeks in churches in and around Bayonne. All the strikers were calling for a halt to what they termed administrative harassment of Spanish Basque refugees who now live in France. The spokesman in Notre Dame claimed the government of France had taken measures against some refugees without court orders, and called for the release of three Basques now in prison, He also asked that Basque political refugees be granted the same rights as political refugees from other countries ... namely the right to live in France, and in the Basque country, with their wives and children. The French government recently cracked down on Basque activities near the Spanish border, moving some families to other parts of France and jailing others. But the Basques on hunger strike at Bayonne claim the government is carrying out the campaign against Spanish Basques because it doesn't want to jeopardies existing and future trade with Spain.