INTRODUCTION: In France, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Bayonne on Tuesday (12 May) to protest against the arrest and extradition of Basque militants.
GV EXTERIOR ZOOM IN TO SV Demonstrators holding banners and singing outside Bayonne Cathedral.
SV Demonstrators marching down street. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN Demonstrators crossing bridge over river.
CU PULL OUT TO GVs Demonstrators marching with banners. (2 SHOTS)
SV Marchers with banners.
SV PAN Demonstrators marching down alley.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: In France, hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets of Bayonne on Tuesday (12 May) to protest against the arrest and extradition of Basque militants. Some five hundreds members of the leftist Basque Nationalist Movement Albertzale, trade union movements and human rights organisations called for the Spanish Basques to be granted political refugee status.
SYNOPSIS: Carrying banners and chanting slogans the demonstrators walked through the streets of Bayonne. The problem of the Basque has frequently strained relations between Spain and France. Spain has repeatedly accused France of harbouring members of the Basque separatist organisation ETA, but in recent months the French authorities have taken a stronger line and many suspected ETA members have been detained.
The demonstrators called for an end to the extradition of Basques to Spain and the abolition of the Court of State Security as promised by Socialist leader Francois Mitterrand, in his campaigning before he became President. Twenty-two Spanish Basques, who were on hunger strike as a protest against their lack of political status were transferred on May the 6th to a French High Security prison in the Pyrenees, and are currently waiting to see if they too will be extradited.
There has been little in the way of a Basque separatist movement in France and ETA has on the whole used France as a refuge and a source of supplies rather than as a battleground for its cause.