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Germany ‘should’ promote mediation in Catalonia, says Bundestag Human Rights committee chair

Gyde Jensen urges Merkel to have a leading role in bringing both sides to the negotiation table

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16 June 2018 05:32 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The chairwoman of the Bundestag’s Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, Gyde Jensen, says that the European Union should bring “the two sides” of the political conflict in Catalonia to the negotiation table.

Jensen says the German government, with Chancellor Angela Merkel at its head, should have a leading role in promoting the mediation—especially since former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont is currently in Germany pending an extradition request from Spain.

A liberal MP for the FDP party, Jensen says independence from a member state should be open for discussion in the EU. She stresses that the European Commission should have a “moderate and neutral” role in the negotiations. “Prison and silence should never be the last solution,” she said.

Jensen rules out the possibility of extraditing Puigdemont for the crime of rebellion (or high treason in the German criminal code). Carrying prison sentences of up to 30 years, the court in Schleswig-Holstein responsible for deciding on his extradition initially rejected the crime of rebellion alleging insufficient violence.

Jensen says Puigdemont “did not use force” to carry out a referendum on independence last October, and therefore should not be extradited for this crime. Still, the German MP says the Schleswig-Holstein court must decide on the alleged crime of misuse of public funds.

On October 1, Spain’s police cracked down on referendum voters, leaving more than 1,000 people injured, according to the Catalan government. Jensen says the “use of force” in Catalonia was unbalanced and warned that the police operation could have violated “freedom of expression.”

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  •  Gyde Jensen, chairwoman of the Bundestag’s Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid (by FDP)

  • Gyde Jensen, chairwoman of the Bundestag’s Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid (by FDP)