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Lawyers denounce charges against pro-independence organization leaders

The Barcelona Bar Association says crime of inciting riotous uprising is invented

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17 October 2017 05:24 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The magistrate responsible for the case against Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, Carmen Lamela, has been criticized by lawyers of the Barcelona Bar Association for inventing the crime used to charge them with sedition, as they face up to 15 years in prison.

The Commission for the Defense of Human Rights, of the Barcelona Bar Association, has called the crime of inciting peaceful uprising “a different kind of legal,” asserting that it does not warrant a prison sentence as it does not fit in with the law.

The crime of sedition should also not be tried at the Spanish National Court, but in Barcelona, as it is a crime of public order, the commission also said.

Although Lamela has argued that the actions of Sànchez and Cuixart were an attempt to subvert the Spanish constitutional order, the commission noted that crimes against the ways of the government are not covered by the criminal code. They added that sedition could only be included as a crime against the establishment under the penal code of 1973, when Spain was still a dictatorship.

The commission consider the court’s ruling as a “distortion of the current law,” being applied to repress citizens’s rights to protest, expression, and political participation.

It also rejected the “usage of the judicial system to solve political conflicts,” which represents “a clear erosion of the legitimacy of institutions and of democratic quality in general.”

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  • Catalan National Assembly president, Jordi Sánchez (left), and Òmnium Cultural president, Jordi Cuixart (by Tània Tàpia)

  • Catalan National Assembly president, Jordi Sánchez (left), and Òmnium Cultural president, Jordi Cuixart (by Tània Tàpia)