Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Madrid to protest against the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights which ordered Spain to release a member of the Basque separatist group ETA. It also bans the government from extending prison terms for numerous ETA members.
People from of the Association of the Victims of Terrorism mixed with representatives of Mariano Rajoy’s ruling People’s Party.
“I was a victim of terrorism and the death of a family member now means nothing. I’m here to protest against the politicians Zapatero and Rubalba the biggest traitors in the history of Spain,” explained one of the demonstrators.
Many of the protesters believe Spain should not have bowed to the Strasbourg court’s ruling which Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called “unfair”.
They fear many more ETA prisoners will be set free. Fifty one have filed applications to be released.
Ines Del Rio Prada who was jailed for 24 murders and sentenced to over three thousand years in prison was the first to be released. She had led the campaign for an end to what is known as the ‘Parot Doctrine’. It was adopted by Spain’s Supreme Court to restrict ETA prisoners’ entitlement to early release.