Spain police arrest 13 Basque separatist party members before elections Joshua Pantesco at 8:53 AM ET
[JURIST] Spanish police on Monday arrested 13 suspected members of Batasuna [BBC backgrounder], the banned political arm of the armed Basque separatist group ETA [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], one month before Spain's March general elections. The same Spanish National Court judge who ordered Monday's arrests last week banned [JURIST report] two Basque political parties from fielding candidates in the elections, ruling that the two parties were connected to the ETA. Several thousand people protested the judge's ruling in the northern city of Bilbao on Sunday, leading to four arrests.
The Supreme Court of Spain banned Batasuna itself in 2003 for its refusal to cut ties with ETA. ETA has been blamed for more than 800 deaths in bombings and attacks since the 1960s. AP has more.
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