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UN urges Spain to ensure “political rights” of jailed Catalan MP

Human Rights Committee registers complaint by lawyers of imprisoned independence leader Jordi Sànchez

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23 March 2018 05:17 PM

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ACN | Geneva

The United Nations Human Rights Committee in Switzerland has urged the Spanish authorities to take “all necessary measures to ensure” that the jailed Catalan MP Jordi Sànchez “can exercise his political rights” in accordance with article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Geneva-based committee confirmed on Friday that it had registered the petition submitted by the defense team of the former head of the pro-independence ANC association and now MP for the Junts per Catalunya party. The committee’s statement also points out that registering the petition “does not imply that any decision has been reached.”

Sànchez has been in a Madrid prison since October 16 awaiting trial for his part in organizing pro-independence protests. He was later put forward as candidate for Catalan president but was forced to step aside after Spain’s Supreme Court denied him permission to attend the parliament to be sworn in.

In its statement, the UN committee says that it has also contacted the Spanish government demanding that “any information or observations” relating to Sànchez’s case should be passed on within six months. The committee will make a decision on Sànchez’s case in accordance with international treaties, but its rulings are not legally binding. If the committee decides that Sànchez’s rights have been violated, it will demand that the Spanish authorities rectify the situation.

The committee’s statement comes in the same week that the UN headquarters in Geneva hosted a series of debates and events on the political situation in Catalonia, which were attended by deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and former MPs Anna Gabriel and Meritxell Serret.

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  • The UN headquarters main building in Geneva (by Denis Balibouse/Reuters)

  • The UN headquarters main building in Geneva (by Denis Balibouse/Reuters)