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Court’s decision to keep Catalan leaders in jail sparks outrage

"We’ll turn sadness into energy, and we won’t stop until you’re free," says Catalan Parliament president Carme Forcadell

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04 December 2017 01:06 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Spanish Supreme Court judge Pablo Llanera’s decision to keep four out of the ten imprisoned Catalan leaders in jail on Monday sparked outrage among pro-independence supporters, but also drew criticism from some parties which don’t back independence.

“We want you back home. We’ll turn sadness into energy, and we won’t stop until you’re free,” tweeted Catalan Parliament president, Carme Forcadell. In the absence of president Carles Puigdemont, currently in Belgium and awaiting a decision on his extradition, Forcadell is the highest institutional figure in Catalonia and a candidate for pro-independence ERC in the December 21 election. She also greeted the release of six ministers: “Welcome home, we’re looking forward to hugging you.”

While Inés Arrimadas, candidate for unionist Cs, stressed her respect for the judge’s decision, the Socialist leader Miquel Iceta said that detention in jail before trial seemed excessive to him, and said that all imprisoned leaders should be free. Polls suggest that Cs and the Socialists are to dispute which is to become the most voted unionist party in the next election. The People’s Party leader in Catalonia, Xavier García Albiol, said that “the decision by the Supreme Court judge proves that the Spanish Constitution is not a piece of chewing gum that can be stretched to allow independence”.

  • “I feel happy for those government members who will leave prison, but I think that this measure should have been applied to all government members ”

    Miquel Iceta · Socialists leader in Catalonia

Pro-independence parties also commented on the judge’s decision. While ERC tweeted that it was “a further injustice” committed by Spain, a spokesperson for Puigdemont’s pro-independence ticket Together for Catalonia, Eduard Pujol, said that “they imposed an election on us, and now they force us to run one-legged”.

Jordi Salvia, a candidate for anti-capitalist CUP, underlined the fact that the four people to remain in jail are members of the two main pro-independence parties, ERC and PDeCAT, as well as leaders of the two major civil society organizations, Òmnium Cultural and the Catalan National Assembly. “One from Òmnium, one from the ANC, one from ERC and one from PDeCAT,” he tweeted. “More than prisoners, it’s time to talk about political hostages.”

The leader of the left-wing coalition Catalunya en Comú, Xavier Domènech, said that “it's totally unjust to continue with provisional detentions that should never have taken place, to begin with”.

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  • Catalan Parliament president Carme Forcadell (by ACN)

  • Catalan Parliament president Carme Forcadell (by ACN)