About 200 people attended the protest · Talks between the island’s political parties and the French minister of Justice to deal with dispersal policies · The French government, committed to bring prisoners closer to their homes · Relatives condemn the Republic of France for “violating its own laws”
Five Corsican pro-independence activists were imprisoned on October 2nd as they were participating in a symbolic action in front of Montesoru's police station. They were protesting against the lack of political will by French minister of Justice Michèle Alliot-Marie to bring Corsican political prisoners to the island. Gendarmes used tear gas as some of the 200 protesters who attended the event set out to throw stones. The protest was then called off and 5 people were arrested and sent to the jail of Borgu.
Two of the detainees were released after the trial held in Bastia's court of justice on October 14th, while two other were sentenced to one month in jail. The fifth protester got an 8-month suspension.
The problem of dispersion
Talks between Corsican political parties and the French minister of Justice have been held to deal with the issue of the dispersion of political prisoners in continental jails. Alliot-Marie committed on September 13th to implement several measures to bring prisoners back to the island. The draft document refers to Corsican prisoners as "people of Corsican origin or currently living in the island", and establishes that the prison of Borgu will be restructured from 2011 on in order to lodge 20 Corsican prisoners who are currently locked in French prisons.
However, the move will depend on the prisoner's behavior, the cause of punishment or the dangerousness of the transfer. According to Corsican pro-independence organisations, the document shows severe deficiencies and does not approach the conflict of the dispersal of prisoners.
In a letter sent to the French minister of Justice, the relatives of Corsican prisoners stressed that the French penitentiary act passed in 2009 already provided for the relocation of prisoners near their home. In spite of this, France "keeps on violating its own laws and punishing the relatives of prisoners".
A number of demonstrations and measures to call for the end of dispersion were held last summer, such as Thierry Gonzales' hunger strike. The prisoner refused to take food to protest against his deportation to Tournan-en-Brie (Île-de-France region) after the appellate court denied him to stay in Corsica, where he had a job and a house in Portivechju (Porto-Vecchio in French).