Former parliament speaker arrives to new Catalan prison
Some 300 pro-independence supporters formed a human chain and placed yellow ribbons on her route
The former Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell arrived this Friday to the Mas d’Enric prison in the Catllar municipality near Tarragona in Catalonia.
Forcadell was moved from the Puig de les Basses detention center in Figueres, in the north of Catalonia, in unmarked vehicle, escorted by a Catalan police Mossos d’Esquadra police car, arriving at 11:30am.
Around 300 people greeted her by forming a human chain on the road leading to the prison, dressed in yellow in solidarity with the imprisoned, and chanting ‘Carme, liibertat’ (translating into ‘Carme, freedom’) .
This along with the yellow ribbons hung up and painted on the route early in the morning by pro-independence supporters, organized by grassroots groups Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural.
Carme Forcadell, born in Xerta in the southern Catalan region of the Baix Ebre, requested this transfer, once moved back to Catalonia, in order to be closer to her family in the Terres de l’Ebre.
For later in the day at 7pm, the two pro-independence organizations also called for a gathering in the parking lot of the Mas d’Enric prison, to which the ANC president Elisenda Paluzie, Òmnium Cultural spokesperson Marcel Mauri, and representatives from various political parties will take part.
Carme Forcadell is one of the nine Catalan leaders who have been incarcerated for months for their role in the independence roadmap. The others, including former vice president Oriol Junqueras, former ministers Dolors Bassa, Raül Romeva, Joaquim Forn, Josep Rull, and Jordi Turull, and activists Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez, were already transferred to Catalan prisons on July 4.
The move happened after a long-standing request – in the case of Cuixart and Sànchez, since late 2017 when they were placed in preemptive jail – to be transferred to penitentiary centers closer to home, for reasons ranging from alleviating financial burden from their families to upholding their right to a proper defense.
However, Catalan authorities and pro-independnece groups call on the Spanish authorities to release all the jailed leaders.