Dagane wrote:Incorrect. As far as I know, it was a common practice with convicts of terrorism (not just "political" prisoners. Such a thing would be illegal) and the reason behind it was the avoidance of demonstrations that support terrorist acts outside the prison gates. It made sense because the professionals working in Basque prisons would otherwise risk being menaced. Whether it is still a relevant policy nowadays, I am not sure. Maybe not.
From what i've read, it's not always people convicted of violent crimes, though the majority are. Some were people who supported ETA (or other independentist groups like Resistência Galega), held material for them, were charged with "apología del terrorismo", or committed acts of violence against property. And i believe it was intended to disrupt the ranks within prisons and make it easier for people to leave those groups, as having other group members in the same prison made it difficult to leave. In that regard it seems to have been pretty successful. I hadn't heard of the prison workers being a concern, though that's definitely a possibility. One of my goals for learning Basque was to get a better understanding of the conflict (i.e. to get the "other" side).
When i first came to Spain, there did seem to be a lot of people who associated "Basque" and the "Basque Country" with ETA, people on all sides have strong feelings about it even if they've never really thought too deeply about it before. I'm not sure if that stigma has disappeared or not, but my guess would be it hasn't, at least not completely.
As for learning Basque, it's a really interesting language, it's a shame it's less common here for people to learn the other regions' languages as there's a real variety of choice here in the peninsula! In the states it's similar, i suppose, though the indigenous languages are more spread out and segregated, unfortunately. Hopefully you get around to trying Basque out some day! When the time comes, i'd be happy to share resource suggestions and whatnot. I'm just diving into real Basque literature now, so i don't have much to offer on that front