THE Balearic government began a campaign yesterday to search out region-wide support for the Aunque (although) declaration, a manifesto claiming solidarity and support for victims of terrorism in the Basque Country. The text of the declaration, signed by key figures from the world of culture, such as Gunter Grass, Paul Preson, Susan Sontag and Mario Vargas Llosa will be made readily available. The campaign was presented yesterday by the Balearic leader, Jaume Matas, and the director of the March Foundation, Basilio Baltasar. The Foundation is collaborating on the project in the Balearics which is also being supported by the Foundation for the Victims of Terrorism, and the anti-violence political platforms of Basta Ya (enough of violence) and Manos Blancas (innocent hands). Apart from a wide-scale distribution of the Aunque document to facilitate its reading and signing by supporters, principal organisations backing the campaign are planning public congresses and conferences in January and February next year under the slogan Condemned to Death. Murder and Extortion in the Basque Country. It is anticipated that politicians from the northern Spanish region will attend the occasions, such as Jaime Mayor and the socialists Nicolás Redondo Terreros and Rosa Díez. The Balearic government has also set up an electronic mail address condenadosamuerteUcaib.es so that all interested parties can link in to the campaign. It's high time, declared Matas, that we should begin to take an honest look around us and see that, close by, in our own country, there is an area where some people do not respect human rights, who try and force people to keep their silence when they, the innocent, have every right to speak out. In such an area, ordinary decent people are still struggling for the most basic of rights, such as the right to life. Matas expressed his wish to see the whole fabric of society united against such abuse, with support coming from companies, unions, and all political and social institutions of the Balearic Islands. He also wanted to see inhabitants of all political persuasions in the region, reading and signing the Aunque declaration in support of victims of terrorism. The title of the text is emblematic of the fact that all its paragraphs begin with the conjunction, aunque. It urges all Europeans to show unified outrage at the fact that in a supposed privileged Western society, some people are still living in fear of expressing their political and social views because of threatened violent retaliation. The document alludes to the memory of the Holocaust to press upon international opinion the fact that in the Basque country, free citizens are being deprived of their right to live in peace and safety.
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