Thousands rally in Spain for release of Basque separatists


SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain: Thousands took to the streets of San Sebastian in northern Spain on Saturday to call for the release of Arnaldo Otegi, the jailed head of the Basque independence Sortu party. Otegi, 57, is a former member of the armed separatist group ETA, which is blamed for more than 800 killings in a four-decade campaign to create a Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France. Otegi was jailed for six years in 2009 for attempting to reform Batasuna, the separatist party banned in 2003, which is considered the political arm of ETA. He is due to be released in April 2016, and was named the head of Sortu, which was briefly banned for its links to Batasuna, while in jail.



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