A convicted member of ETA, the Basque separatist group, is to stay behind bars, despite a two-and-a-half month hunger strike which has brought him close to death. Spain’s High Court rejected a plea to release Inaki de Juana Chaos on humanitarian grounds.
Doctors had warned that he may die if he continues to be fed solely by intravenous drip, as the method is ineffective over a long period. De Juana Chaos is protesting against a 12-year sentence for making terrorist threats in a Basque language newspaper. The 51-year-old has already served a 20-year sentence for the murder of 25 people in ETA attacks. He is currently in hospital in Madrid.
Under Spanish law terminally ill patients can be released from prison. High court judges ruled that it did not apply in this case as de Juana Chaos’s condition was self-inflicted.