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France: Valls visits Corsica as nationalists turn up heat on prisoners issue01:59

France: Valls visits Corsica as nationalists turn up heat on prisoners issue

France, Ajaccio
July 4, 2016 at 19:41 GMT -00:00 · Published

law and also with respect by the judiciary authority, with pragmatism and not in an ideological and political way. If you talk about political prisoners, I answer. And I say that there are no political prisoners in France. If you talk about bringing detainees closer (to their families), then the penitentiary administration and justice system has to be able to do their jobs because I can also understand the families concerns."

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls made his first visit to Corsica on Monday, after the new nationalist government there has increased the pressure on the issue of Corsican prisoners.

Whilst refusing to accept the term 'political prisoners', Valls did acknowledge the validity of some prisoner's demands, such as being able to see their families. Addressing ministers in Ajaccio, he said:

"There are indeed red lines or principles that I mentioned again. I'm thinking for example of the prisoner's issue. I hope that this (issue) is treated before the law and also with respect by the judiciary authority, with pragmatism and not in an ideological and political way. If you talk about political prisoners, I answer. And I say that there are no political prisoners in France. If you talk about bringing detainees closer (to their families), then the penitentiary administration and justice system has to be able to do their jobs because I can also understand the families concerns."

President of the Corsican regional assembly, Jean-Guy Talamoni, said that that whilst some progress had been made, there was still much to fight for: "I think Corsicans must mobilize to for the language, I believe that the Corsicans also must mobilize to defend those who give everything to the interests of Corsica, namely prisoners and the wanted."

Valls was met by several dozen protesters outside the town hall, who are unhappy with the French Government's refusal to grant amnesty for Corsican nationalists who have been jailed.

Talamoni has previously called for amnesty for 'political prisoners' and those still in hiding. The main faction of a much-splintered, violent independence movement, the Fronte di Liberazione Naziunale Corsu (FLNC), gave up its armed struggle in 2014.

France: Valls visits Corsica as nationalists turn up heat on prisoners issue01:59
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law and also with respect by the judiciary authority, with pragmatism and not in an ideological and political way. If you talk about political prisoners, I answer. And I say that there are no political prisoners in France. If you talk about bringing detainees closer (to their families), then the penitentiary administration and justice system has to be able to do their jobs because I can also understand the families concerns."

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls made his first visit to Corsica on Monday, after the new nationalist government there has increased the pressure on the issue of Corsican prisoners.

Whilst refusing to accept the term 'political prisoners', Valls did acknowledge the validity of some prisoner's demands, such as being able to see their families. Addressing ministers in Ajaccio, he said:

"There are indeed red lines or principles that I mentioned again. I'm thinking for example of the prisoner's issue. I hope that this (issue) is treated before the law and also with respect by the judiciary authority, with pragmatism and not in an ideological and political way. If you talk about political prisoners, I answer. And I say that there are no political prisoners in France. If you talk about bringing detainees closer (to their families), then the penitentiary administration and justice system has to be able to do their jobs because I can also understand the families concerns."

President of the Corsican regional assembly, Jean-Guy Talamoni, said that that whilst some progress had been made, there was still much to fight for: "I think Corsicans must mobilize to for the language, I believe that the Corsicans also must mobilize to defend those who give everything to the interests of Corsica, namely prisoners and the wanted."

Valls was met by several dozen protesters outside the town hall, who are unhappy with the French Government's refusal to grant amnesty for Corsican nationalists who have been jailed.

Talamoni has previously called for amnesty for 'political prisoners' and those still in hiding. The main faction of a much-splintered, violent independence movement, the Fronte di Liberazione Naziunale Corsu (FLNC), gave up its armed struggle in 2014.

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