Esquerra leader “unfairly imprisoned” to stop Catalan Republic, says released minister
Raül Romeva, deposed as Foreign Affairs Minister, takes part in campaign event in Valls
Up until Monday, Foreign Affairs Minister Raül Romeva was in prison, as were five other ministers of the deposed Catalan government. On Wednesday, he took part in a campaign event for Esquerra Republicana, the left-wing pro-independence party that leads the polls in Catalonia. Its main candidate, Oriol Junqueras, is still imprisoned, as are two civil society leaders and the deposed minister of Home Affairs.
In his speech in Valls, southern Catalonia, Romeva said that the Spanish Supreme Court judge decided to keep ERC leader in prison because he is "afraid" of him campaigning in favor of the Catalan Republic. For Romeva, the arguments used by Spanish courts to keep Catalan leaders in prison are "immoral, undignified and simple lies".
More than 700 people greeted Romeva in his first public appearance after leaving prison on Monday. He admitted it was "very sad" to leave Junqueras, minister Forn and civil society leaders Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart in prison while others were being released. "They said the argument (to keep them locked) is because they could promote violent rebellions. And that's is utterly unacceptable," he said.
"We want to build a country with freedom, equality and fraternity", said Romeva, adding that "flags" have nothing to do with the Catalan independence movement. "This is an inclusive process," he added.