'We won't give up until you're home,' says Catalan president to jailed leaders
Quim Torra and parliament speaker Roger Torrent denounce months of incarceration 700km far from home as "shame for all democrats in Europe"
The transferal of jailed leaders from Madrid to prisons in Catalonia, closer to their families, is not enough. This was the reaction of the Catalan president, Quim Torra, and parliament speaker, Roger Torrent, shortly after the first politicians and activists arrived in Catalan penitentiary centers on Wednesday. "We won't give up until you're home," said Torra to the nine leaders in a joint official statement supported by the government, the majority of Catalan parties and some social entities.
"Today the distancing is over, but not the injustice or the abomination of having peaceful, honorable democrats locked up," he claimed. For him, these months of incarceration 700km far from their homes have been "a shame for all democrats in Catalonia, Spain and Europe." He also described the circumstances as "an intolerable outrage, an extra punishment for families."
"Closer does not mean freedom or justice"
Roger Torrent · Catalan parliament speaker
Torra also made clear that the transfer "is no political gesture and is part of no negotiation" with Madrid. Unionist Ciutadans and the People's Party claim that the transferal of leaders to Catalan centers was part of a secret agreement between the pro-independence movement and the Socialist leader, Pedro Sánchez, in exchange for supporting him in his bid to dethrone Mariano Rajoy as Spanish president. This attempt was successful after he got enough support in a vote of no confidence.
Roger Torrent spoke in the same vein as President Torra. "We won't rest until you're home, with your families, not close to home," he said. "Closer does not mean freedom or justice." The parliament president also denounced the "violation of rights" that prisoners have gone through in the past few months.