Catalan president begins 48-hour fast
In solidarity jailed officials and their hunger strike, Quim Torra joins the protest and is set to spend two nights at the Montserrat monastery
Catalan president Quim Torra began at 9am on Sunday a period of 48 hours of fasting, in solidarity with the jailed politicians carrying out an “indefinite” hunger strike (now on day 9). Inasmuch, Torra aims to stand with the four politicians on hunger strike, and show his “solidarity, respect, and admiration for the courage of those in prison on a hunger strike.”
Four jailed leaders on hunger strike
On December 1, two of the leaders in pre-trial jail (Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Turull) started their strike, and they were joined by two more, two days later (Josep Rull and Joaquim Forn). The lawyers of the politicians explain that they want to highlight that Spain's Constitutional Court is "blocking" their cases reaching the European Court of Humans Rights (ECHR) by delaying decisions on their appeals. The European Court of Human Rights only accepts for consideration cases which have gone through the whole national judicial path.
Forn, a former Home Affairs minister, has been in pre-trial jail for more than a year. Rull and Turull, former ministers, both spent a month in jail in 2017, and then entered pre-trial prison again in March last year. Meanwhile, Jordi Sánchez has been in prison since mid-October 2017.
Fasting on Constitution day
On December 6, three Catalan ministers and several MPs of pro-independence parties also carried out a 24-hour fast in Barcelona to support the four jailed leaders on hunger strike, staying in the Capuchin monastery in Sarrià, in the Catalan capital.
The protest aimed not only to show solidarity with the jailed leaders refusing to eat, but also to reject the Spanish constitution on the day marking its 40th anniversary.
International support and local reactions
Various other personalities have supported the Catalan leaders on hunger strike, including 40 MEPs from 5 different political groups, part of the EU-Catalonia Dialogue Platform. Additionally, politicians abroad such as the Belgian defense minister have expressed concern over the hunger strike. Meanwhile, in Catalonia, parties and politicians both supported and rejected the protest carried out by the jailed leaders.