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Robert Manrique, defender of victims of terrorism and himself a survivor of ETA's 1987 bombing of a Hipercor shopping centre in Barcelona, has expressed confusion over the accusation of terrorism against members of the Catalan Committees for Defence of the Republic (CDR). He asked whether lifting barriers on a toll road is similar to shooting someone dead.

"It seems a complete exaggeration to me, and a way of using terrorism to cover other things. I cannot come to understand that lifting toll barriers or blocking roads is equivalent to planting a bomb in a supermarket or killing someone with a shot to the back of the neck. It doesn't make sense. I've spoken with many victims these days and it blows our minds", he said in an interview with Basque station Radio Euskadi.

"Now, when farmers block a road to call for a subsidy will they also be accused of terrorism? Anyone who thinks differently as to what is supposed to be the official line, will they be accused of crimes," he asked.

Manrique said that he even knows there are survivors of real terrorist attacks and families of victims "who are members of the CDR".

He ended by quoting a sarcastic question put to him this morning by a fellow survivor of terrorism: "in which hospital are the wounded which the CDRs have supposedly caused?"

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