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Documentary makes the case for jailed Catalan activists

Footage shows Cuixart and Sànchez tried to mediate with Spanish police on September 20

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29 June 2018 11:39 AM

by

ACN | Barcelona

Two activists jailed for their role in the independence bid, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez, will present a documentary as evidence in Spain’s Supreme Court. The programme shown on Catalonia’s public TV on Thursday focuses on a major demonstration in the run-up to last October’s referendum.

Drawing on footage taken by members of the public, the film makes the case that the two grassroots leaders tried to mediate with Spanish police officers on September 20—during the very same protest for which they were sent to pre-trial prison more than eight months ago.

  • “It reflects the reality of what happened, and therefore we’re interested in bringing it to the legal proceedings”

    Marina Roig · Jordi Cuixart's lawyer

“It reflects the reality of what happened, and therefore we’re interested in bringing it to the legal proceedings,” said Marina Roig, Cuixart’s lawyer, in a subsequent interview on Catalonia’s TV3 channel.

Sànchez and Cuixart played a key role in the political roadmap that let to a referendum on independence on October 1 and a subsequent declaration of independence, both of which were deemed illegal by Spain.

The two leaders face criminal charges of rebellion, punishable with up to 30 years in jail, and implying an “uprising with violence”. With nine leaders preemptively jailed under these charges, and seven seeking refuge abroad, pro-independence leaders have repeatedly denied the existence of violence in their actions.

At the time of their imprisonment, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez were the leaders of the two main pro-independence grassroots organizations in Catalonia, Òmnium Cultural and the Catalan National Assembly (ANC).

While Cuixart was re-elected as the head of Òmnium two weeks ago, Sànchez left the ANC to run in last December’s election as the number two of former president Carles Puigdemont, currently in Germany awaiting a decision on his extradition to Spain.

Currently a member of the Catalan parliament, Sànchez was put forward by Puigdemont to be appointed as Catalan president, but the Supreme Court did not authorize him to take up the post while in prison. Following nearly five months of political deadlock, the pro-independence parties finally elected Quim Torra as head of the government.

The documentary was produced by Mediapro and was viewed by some 982,000 people, meaning 33.7% of people watching TV in Catalonia on Thursday night followed the program.

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  • Jordi Cuixart (right) and Jordi Sànchez (by Laura Busquets)

  • Jordi Cuixart (right) and Jordi Sànchez (by Laura Busquets)