Gerry Adams & Alexis Tsipras
THE leader of Greece's SYRIZA coalition of the radical left and candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission, Alexis Tsipras, has called for the immediate and unconditional release of Gerry Adams.
His statement in full:
"The arrest and detention of the leader of Sinn Fein and pioneer of the peace process in Northern Ireland Gerry Adams is a politically inflammatory act against democracy and the always fragile peace and normality in the region.
"A so provocative initiative cannot but concern the entire democratic Europe. Because Gerry Adams is a major political personality of our times.
"Gerry Adams is not alone. He has on his side, apart from the Greek people, every democratic citizen in each corner of Europe, who despises the scapegoat policy as well as opportunistic pre-electoral actions, a few days ahead of the local and European elections of May 23rd in Ireland.
"In my capacity as President of SYRIZA and European Left candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission, I ask for the immediate and unconditional liberation of Gerry Adams."
INTERNATIONAL pressure is growing for the release of Gerry Adams following his politically-motivated arrest by the PSNI.
USA - Republican Congressman Peter King told NBC News that the political implications of Gerry Adams' arrest will cause growing tension in the North. He added that he has known Gerry Adams for 30 years and described him as "always truthful" and "more instrumental than anyone" in bringing peace to Ireland.
Democratic Congressman Richard E. Neal told the Boston Globe that the arrest is “one of those unsettling moments” and said he was suspicious of the timing, which comes just before elections. “It all seems pretty murky,” he said.
Basque Country - Basque pro-Independence party Sortu, which makes up the Basque Parliament's opposition EH Bildu coalition, described the arrest as an attack on the Peace Process and "an attempt stop the unstoppable advance of republicanism in the whole island of Ireland."
Catalonia - The Young Republican Left of Catalonia (JERC), the youth wing of Esquerra, the second-largest political grouping in Catalonia, described the arrest as "an attempt to discredit him and his political organization, Sinn Fein, in a moment in which the local and European elections seem to be very favourable."
Italy - Banners calling for the release of Gerry Adams were carried by left-wing demonstrators during the annual May Day march in the city of Milan.
HUGE crowds gathered on the Falls Road in Belfast on Saturday afternoon to demand the release of Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.
A mural was launched at the event in support of the imprisoned republican leader. Many of those at the event carried posters calling for his release and comparing him to Nelson Mandela. Others condemned the arrest as an attack on the Peace Process.
The North's Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, spoke to the crowd describing the arrest of the Louth TD as being "designed to disrupt the election campaign".
McGuinness also queried how some could claim the timing of the arrest was not a very blatant act of political policing:
"The PSNI has had the Boston tapes for a year.
"The allegations contained in books and newspaper articles which the PSNI are presenting to Gerry as evidence that he was in the IRA in the 1970s have been around for 40 years.
"But they are only now trying to use these. Is that not political policing?"
He also hit out at the double standards at play in terms of the failure of the PSNI to arrest those British soldiers behind the Ballymurphy or Bloody Sunday massacres.
The Mid-Ulster MLA added:
"Gerry Adams stands head and shoulders above all of those who helped build the peace process.
"He is a peace maker, a leader, a visionary.
"There would be no peace process but for his commitment and dedication.
"Gerry Adams is committed to moving this process forward."