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Activist Cuixart's lawyer cites international law to defend 'peaceful resistance'

Marina Roig appeals to the right to freedom of assembly to refute rebellion charges for leading demonstrations



12 June 2019 10:32 AM


ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan trial is set to come to an end on Wednesday, with the defense lawyers concluding their closing arguments and the defendants making their final statements.

The first to speak before the Supreme Court in Madrid was Marina Roig, activist Jordi Cuixart's lawyer, who appealed to international law in order to refute the rebellion charges against her client.

Roig brought up the request by the United Nations to "immediately" release the imprisoned leaders, and also the defense of "peaceful resistance" in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in referring to the demonstrations ahead of the 2017 referendum and the independence vote itself.

The lawyer also appealed to the right to freedom of assembly, enshrined in Spain's Constitution.

  • "There is no democracy without democracy, and there is no democracy without citizen participation"

    Marina Roig · Activist Cuixart's lawyer

"There is no democracy without democracy, and there is no democracy without citizen participation," she said.

Continuing with the theme of rights, the lawyer also insisted that "the defense of Spain's unity cannot sacrifice fundamental human rights recognized around the world."

She also spoke out against "criminalizing" public protest, calling it a "mistake" and warning that it can have dangerous consequences for fundamental rights in Spain."

Speaking up for her client, the lawyer added that Jordi Cuixart "always insisted on any gathering of people maintaining a peaceful, civic, serene, and calm nature."

"People of peace"

Before Roig's statement, several pro-independence politicians and civil society organization officials gathered outside the court to support the prosecuted leaders.

One of them was Junts per Catalunya's Laura Borràs, who told Catalan News that "this is a trial full of shame," and described the officials in the dock as "people of peace."

"A verdict should be not a part of the problem, but a part of the solution," she added.

"Bias and exaggeration"

On Tuesday, other lawyers took the stand, such as the defense of former vice president Oriol Junqueras and former foreign minister Raül Romeva, who accused the public prosecutor of "bias and exaggeration."

The lawyer of also former ministers Jordi Turull and Josep Rull, along with activist Jordi Sànchez, said the events for which they are accused of rebellion were "protests" and not "uprisings."

The defense of the former home affairs minister Joaquim Forn also took the stand on Tuesday to point out that the declaration of independence was never implemented.