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.
Bon dia, good morning everyone.
I am Isabel-Helena Martí, president of Sobirania i Justícia (Sovereignty & Justice – S&J). It is my great pleasure and honor to welcome you all.
Andrew Rosindell, thank you very much for accepting our invitation to come and talk. We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the issue we will be discussing today: “Catalonia and Europe after Brexit. Challanges and opportunities”.
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont is expected to address the regional parliament Tuesday, but it’s still unclear if he’ll declare independence. More than two million Catalans voted to break away from Spain in the October first referendum. But 57 percent of the voters stayed away from the polls. Madrid declared the vote unconstitutional.
Friday, the Spanish government apologized for the use of violence by police after nearly 900 people were injured at the polls. Thousands of people have since turned to the streets to rally for and against Catalonia’s independence.
To discuss Catalonia’s push for independence:
Isabel-Helena Marti, a member of the Catalan National Assembly in Barcelona.
Federiga Bindi, a senior fellow with Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Daniel Gascon, the editor of the Spanish magazine, “Letras Libres.”
Alberto Avendano, the Washington Bureau Chief for the National Association of Hispanic Publications.