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Tens of thousands march in Spain in support of ETA

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Tens of thousands marched through Bilbao's streets on Saturday (January 11), to denounce a ban against a rally in support of Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) prisoners. The National Basque Party (PNV) and pro-independence Bildu said the Spanish national court's ban was a violation of human rights. The banned rally was to call for ETA inmates to be moved closer to their families. Last year, Spain's high court had ordered the release of several ETA prisoners, many of whom were convicted of murder. In 2011, Basque separatist group ETA called a permanent ceasefire and declared an end to its armed campaign. The group is blamed for the deaths of more than 850 people in half a century of armed struggle for an independent state in northern Spain and southwest France. An association of victims tried in vain to stop Saturday's march, saying it was paying homage to prisoners of "terrorist group ETA".

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