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MEPs denounce Spain for making it “difficult” to visit jailed ministers and activists

Several representatives, part of delegation that wants to visit imprisoned Catalan leaders criticize Madrid’s lack of response


30 November 2017 08:07 PM


ACN | Brussels

Several representatives have denounced the “difficulties” they are encountering in order to visit the jailed Catalan politicians and pro-independence grassroots activists.

We have not found any kind of cooperation from the government in Madrid,” said Italian MEP Eleonora Forenza, who forms part of a delegation of 16 MEPs who want to visit imprisoned Catalan government members. “They are making it more and more difficult for this delegation to be able to visit the political prisoners," Forenza added, calling the situation “unacceptable.” "We demand their freedom, but also our right to visit them," she insisted.

No explanations

“For now we have not had any reasoned response with explanations,” said French-born Marie-Pierre Vieu. “We find it extremely serious,” she added, recalling that MEPs have the right to access any European prison. “We ask to be respected,” she went on to say, “to come and talk with the democratically-elected politicians.”

"We are very surprised at how things have gone, because directors and activists have been jailed for having a point of view that is not authorized by the central government," Vieu complained. "We want the December 21 elections to be transparent," she said.

Political power

José Bové, one of the historical figures of the French green left, also admitted in a press conference on Wednesday in the European Parliament that Spain is putting obstacles in his way. "Why has it not allowed to us?" He asked, stating that they are now lobbying the French authorities to "talk with their counterparts in Spain," adding that "it's totally crazy."

"If prisoners want to be released they must accept what the government says," Bové stated. He believes that in Spain, justice "is under political power" and that "this is also a problem for the European Union."


  • José Bové (centre) at a press conference on Wednesday (by ACN)

  • José Bové (centre) at a press conference on Wednesday (by ACN)