Council of Europe representative to see jailed independence leaders this week

Head of council's report on political prisoners in Europe also to meet with Catalan and Spanish governments

Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg
Council of Europe headquarters in Strasbourg / Blanca Blay

ACN | Barcelona

February 3, 2020 12:47 PM

The representative heading the Council of Europe's (CoE) report on political prisoners in Europe, specifically Spain and Turkey, will see the jailed Catalan independence leaders on his visit to Catalonia and Madrid this week.

Latvian Socialist party member, Boriss Cilevičs, will include the former ministers and activists jailed over the 2017 independence bid in the report, and will also meet with representatives of the Catalan and Spanish governments during his visit.

Cilevičs will be in Catalonia and Madrid between February 3 and 6 and, according to CoE sources, wants the conclusions of the report to be ready "as soon as possible," although no further details were given.

In a preliminary document, Cilevičs questioned whether the leaders who organized the  independence referendum could be sentenced "to long prison terms," and said the case will most probably end up in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The report into the situation in Spain, as well as in Turkey, was the initiative of a score of CoE deputies in January, and the sources consulted say the text and its conclusions will have to be approved by the members of the Parliamentary Assembly.

Cilevičs' final report will have to include a "resolution or recommendation" to the Human Rights Committee, which can then propose amendments to the text before the assembly gets to vote on it. 

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, known as PACE, is the parliamentary arm of the CoE, a 47-nation international organization dedicated to upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law.