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Torra insists on referendum and calls for march to defend 'civil and national rights'

"I can't accept any verdict which isn't absolution," he says on prosecuted leaders

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04 September 2018 10:32 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

In a key speech made on Tuesday night, president Quim Torra called on the Spanish leader Pedro Sánchez to agree to a referendum "without threats, without violence, without fear, without a dirty war."

In order to do that, he urged "bilateral dialogue" with Sánchez's executive, but made clear he would not give up his plans.

"We'll listen to everyone but we won't give up on the right to self-determination," he pledged.

Mobilization for civil rights

In a conference kicking off what is set to be another heated autumn in Catalan politics, the president also called on citizens to mobilize in order to defend "civil and national rights" until there is a definitive decision on the trial against pro-independence leaders.

"A march that begins tomorrow, and ends on the day of the sentences against the political prisoners," he said. 

Verdict on prosecuted leaders

"I can't accept any verdict [for prosecuted political leaders] which isn't absolution," he said at the Auditori in Barcelona at the 'Our moment' conference. "We will not resign ourselves to unjust sentences that would only bring more pain and conflict."

  • "We will not resign ourselves to unjust sentences that would only bring more pain and conflict"

    Quim Torra · Catalan president

"Either freedom or freedom," Torra said.

Yet Torra did not unveil how he would reject the potential verdict. Instead, he said he would decide what steps to take along with the government and parliament.

Social laws

The Catalan president also committed to "make effective" 14 social laws suspended by the Spanish Constitutional Court over the past few years.

Exiled leaders

Concerning the role of the exiled leaders, Torra said a Council for the Republic led by former president Puigdemont will be formed shortly in order for the independence movement to go international.

"Here no one has absconded from justice, we have had to find it abroad," said the Catalan leader. "In no democracy should call a vote be a crime, and this idea is stronger with the judicial rulings taken by German and Italian courts, and with the international treaties of Human Rights and Peoples."

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  • President Quim Torra at the “Our Moment” conference on Tuesday night (ACN)

  • President Quim Torra at the “Our Moment” conference on Tuesday night (ACN)