Spain’s Constitution Day:
Four Catalan Political Prisoners on Hunger Strike
Today, December 6, is a bitter day. Officially, Spain celebrates all dressed up, with pomp and grandiloquent rhetoric, the 40th anniversary of a Constitution that is kept under lock and key to prevent it from ever being amended. It is irrelevant that four out of the nine Catalan political prisoners unjustly accused of “rebellion” for events occurring in autumn of 2017, are now on hunger strike. It is the only recourse they have to protest the discrimination and arbitrariness to which they are exposed under the highly politicized Spanish justice system.
Fundamental rights violation:
No Fair Trial for Catalan Political Prisoners
In July 2018, Supreme Court judge Pablo Llarena concluded the investigation phase of the sedition and rebellion charges brought against civic and political leaders after the political events in Catalonia in September and October 2017. The investigation sets out the legal basis for the defendants to be prosecuted for rebellion, embezzlement and disobedience, crimes which can lead to severe sentences of up to 30 years in prison. The basis for this criminal case is the organisation and holding of a self-determination referendum, and the political declaration -without any practical effects- of the independence of Catalonia by the Catalan Parliament.
The investigating judge has constructed an inflamed and improbable narrative based on non-existent violence and, moreover, on unreliable information from the Civil Guard (Spanish armed police), full of errors and imprecisions but sufficient to be used to put the defendants into preventive custody and suspend their political rights. The only violence on record during these days was that of the brutal police charges against those who went peacefully to vote on October.