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Hunger strike by jailed Catalan leaders ‘terrible for Spain,’ says MEP

Antonio Marinho Pinto visits former speaker Carme Forcadell in prison

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03 December 2018 02:40 PM

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ACN | Catllar

Antonio Marinho Pinto, a member of the European Parliament from Portugal, has said that the hunger strike by two jailed Catalan leaders is "terrible for Spain," adding that "putting political rivals in jail is improper of a democratic state."

Pinto, a member of the liberal ALDE group, visited the former parliament speaker Carme Forcadell in prison on Monday. He was accompanied by Miroslavs Mitrofanos, a member of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament from Latvia.

  • "Law can be a source of freedom and justice, but it can also be a source of terror"

    Antonio Marinho Pinto · ALDE MEP

"Spain is giving a very bad example to the world. Law can be a source of freedom and justice, but it can also be a source of terror," he said. "When we fail to find political solutions to political problems we resort to courts as a tool for terror."

Referring to Forcadell’s case, he said that "her only crime was to allow a political debate, Catalan independence, to be discussed in parliament," and added that his can’t be compared to "robbing a bank, rape or murder.

Marinho took on Spanish authorities after Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Turull started an indefinite hunger strike on Saturday to protest against the blocking of their cases in the Spanish Constitutional Court.

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  • Portuguese MEP Antonio Marinho Pinto (by Roger Segura)

  • Portuguese MEP Antonio Marinho Pinto (by Roger Segura)