Pro-independence activist charged with terrorism appears in court
Woman arrested on Tuesday for organizing protests in favor of a Catalan republic testifies in Spain’s National Court
The pro-independence activist arrested on charges of terrorism and rebellion has appeared in Spain’s National Court, in Madrid. Guardia Civil police arrested Tamara C. G. at her home in Viladecans, close to Barcelona, on Tuesday. She is accused of coordinating protests for the Committees for the Defense of the Republic (CDR), a network of civil protest groups in favor of a Catalan state.
Police transported the CDR activist from the Madrid prison where she had been held since Tuesday to the court first thing in the morning. CDR sources confirmed that while in detention the activist made no statements to the police, but that she had talked to her lawyer. According to the CDR, the arrests of its activists had a “clear intention” of “paralyzing” public protest.
Support outside court
Outside the court, a group that included representatives of the pro-independence parties gathered in support of the activist. An ERC MP in the Spanish parliament claimed it was “an insult to intelligence and democracy” to link the CDR with terrorism, while a PDeCAT MP in the Spanish chamber denied that the actions of the CDR were terrorism and said the arrest was aimed at discouraging “the population from defending its rights.” Meanwhile, an MP for Carles Puigdemont’s JxCat group said the case against the activist “does not stand up.”
As people began to gather outside the court early in the morning, Spanish police took the personal details of six CDR members who had traveled to Madrid to support their colleague. The CDR activists claim that they were stopped by the police soon after getting off a bus in a square near the court. The police also confiscated the banners of support that they were carrying.
CDR acts "violent in nature," says unionist leader
Among those outside the court was a representative of the far-left pro-independence CUP party, who insisted that the arrest of the activist was an “act of repressive madness” and that the CDR’s protests are “political demonstrations without any violence.” Yet, the head of Catalonia’s main unionist party said in a radio interview that the CDR have carried out acts that are “violent in nature” and she called on politicians to “lower the tension.”
Also in a radio interview yesterday, the arrested woman’s lawyer denied that his client was a CDR leader or that she had coordinated protests or acts of sabotage. According to the lawyer, the accusations will not stand up in court because “the existing evidence is rather flimsy.” Evidence gathered by the police include an audio clip spread on social media, a screen grab of Google Maps and a permit and materials to carry out a leisure activity.