Celtic solidarity over prisoners plight



A representative from the Kernow Branch of the Celtic League visited Brittany on the Saturday 21st February to take part in a demonstration in Nantes. The demonstration was in protest over the continued incarceration of six Breton prisoner's by the French authorities, some of whom have been held in jails for over four years without trial.

The demonstration was the last of many, before all six prisoner's are put on trial between 1st and 26th March 2004. Many human rights groups, including the European Court of Human Rights and Amnesty International, have demanded the release of the prisoner's by the French authorities, who they claim have been in breach of the Human Rights Act and other numerous international laws, in keeping the Bretons in jail.

Organised by Breton Co-ordination Against Repression (CARB), the demonstration was attended by over six hundred people, some of whom had come from as far away as Galicia and Euskadi. In addition there were representatives from many different organisations and in the closing speeches Claude le Duigou, spokesman for CARB, thanked all protester's for attending what was a peaceful demonstration.

The Kernow Branch have campaigned for the prisoner's release since May 2001. Members have written letters to the prisoner's as well as to the French Government demanding that they release the prisoner's immediately or put them on trial. In August 2003, the Branch also jointly organised a demonstration in Dublin outside the French Embassy. As a result of this demonstration the French Ambassador agreed to meet with representatives and later promised to write a full report and forward it to the French Government outlining the concerns of the League.

Rhisiart Ta-e-bot, Kernow Branch representative in Nantes, commented that "there is a long tradition of contact between the Cornish and the Bretons that stretches back hundreds of years. The Celtic League have played an important role over the past forty years in keeping these contacts going. Our presence at the demonstration in Nantes and other events in Brittany are a telling indication of how strongly the feeling of solidarity is among the Celtic peoples."

(Report pepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, Kernow branch)

J B Moffatt
Secretary General
Celtic League


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries of the western British Isles and Brittany. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It targets human rights abuse
and monitors all military activity within these areas

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