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Spanish Court refuses Kurdish precedent to release Catalan leader

Jordi Sànchez’s request for freedom denied over lack of "new circumstances"

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20 December 2018 02:08 PM

by

ACN | Madrid

The Spanish Constitutional Court (TC) has refused to release Catalan MP Jordi Sànchez, denying his request for freedom which comes at the heels of a recent ruling from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which ordered Turkey to end the pre-trial detention of a Kurdish politician.

The Court unanimously denied Sànchez’s requests arguing that the ECHR ruling cannot be considered as a “new circumstance” and, therefore, it does not change previous decisions taken by the court regarding Sànchez’s pre-trial imprisonment for his role in Catalonia’s push for independence.

Together with former Catalan ministers Jordi Turull and Josep Rull who are also in jail, Sànchez had urged the Constitutional Court to consider the similarities of their case with that of Selahattin Demirtaş, the former co-chairman of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

On the very same day of the TC ruling, Sànchez and other jailed leaders ended a hunger strike that started over two weeks ago, to denounce the TC’s delay in handling their appeals, which prevented them from bringing their cases to Strasbourg.

The Kurdish case

Demirtaş spent two years in pre-trial jail for a speech he gave in 2013. Last September, he was convicted of terrorism charges and sentenced to serve more than four years in prison. He remains to be tried for further terrorism accusations.

The Strasbourg-based ECHR court has called on Turkey to take "all necessary measures" to put an end to Demirtas’ pre-trial detention.

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  • Jailed Catalan leader Jordi Sànchez (by Elisenda Rosanas)

  • Jailed Catalan leader Jordi Sànchez (by Elisenda Rosanas)