Victims' groups in Spain on Saturday hailed the ceasefire decision by the separatist Basque group ETA as a first step toward the end of terrorism, but at the same time warned against impunity for terrorists.
"The lawful state must act with firmness to avoid impunity for the terrorists. The end of terrorism must not lead to the frustration of hopes for justice of terrorism victims and Spanish society," 11 victims' groups said in a statement.
The victims' groups said the ETA's ceasefire decision did not mean the end of terrorism, but added that "It could be, however, the starting point of a process that leads to the end of terrorism."
It depends on the government's ability to "develop a policy which will lead to the victory for democratic society over terrorism," the statement read.
Also on Saturday, thousands of people took to the streets in the northern city of Pamploma, waving the red, green and white Basque flag.
Pernando Berrena, leader of the outlawed Batasuna Party, which is widely viewed as ETA's political wing, told the crowd that "We now ask the Spanish government to stop its repression campaign and allow Batasuna to carry out legal activity."
The non-violent rally was the first since the ETA on Wednesday announced a permanent ceasefire that took effect midnight Thursday.
The ETA, a Basque acronym meaning "Basque Homeland and Liberty, " has been blamed for over 800 killings since it began fighting for an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France in 1968.