Amnesty to include activist groups CDR and Tsunami after deal reached

Governing Socialists reach agreement with pro-independence Esquerra and Junts over modification

The Congressional Justice Commission during the amnesty law debate
The Congressional Justice Commission during the amnesty law debate / Redacció

ACN | @agenciaacn | Barcelona

January 23, 2024 01:27 PM

January 23, 2024 05:23 PM

The Catalan pro-independence parties Junts per Catalunya and Esquerra Republicana (ERC) have reached an agreement with the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) to include two amendments in the amnesty bill that could pardon members from the pro-independence activist groups Committees of the Defense of the Republic (CDR) and Tsunami Democràtic accused of terrorism.

However, the amendments will exclude terrorism charges or convictions "if and when acts committed are deliberate and premeditated and have caused serious violations of human rights, as defined in Articles 2 and 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law."

The requirement of a terrorism conviction will also be removed from the text of the amnesty bill, meaning that an accusation will be sufficient for a pardon to be considered.

The amnesty bill will be debated and voted on in the Spanish Congress on Tuesday, January 30

The amendments were also supported by the Socialists' junior coalition partner Sumar, the Basque Country's PNV and Bildu, and Galicia's BNG. 

Disagreement overcome 

Last week's disagreements, whereby ERC and Junts presented amendments separately and the Socialists were only open to "technical" modifications, were overcome on Tuesday. 

The aim of the pro-independence forces is to prevent Spanish National Court judge Manuel García-Castellón from investigating members of the CDR and Tsunami Democràtic for terrorism charges in order to prevent them from being granted amnesty. 

"There's nothing outside the independence push that will benefit from the amnesty," said the Spanish presidency minister, Félix Bolaños. "The amnesty will be for presumed criminal behaviors only if they are related to the independence push."

Félix Bolaños, Spanish presidency minister / Catalan News

The second amendment agreed by the seven parties clarifies the obligation to halt ongoing cases against individuals accused and to "immediately release the people benefiting from the amnesty." 

Junts and ERC also presented another joint amendment that goes even further, but which, for the time being, the Socialists have not accepted. 

That amendment will be debated in the Congress session on January 30, where the bill is expected to pass. 

The law will then pass to the Senate, where the conservative People's Party (which has an absolute majority) is already looking for ways to delay its approval. 

The Senate has a maximum of two months to rule on the legislation.

The law will then return to Congress where it is set to be approved definitively with the votes of the Socialists, Sumar, ERC, Junts, the Basque National Party, Bildu and BNG, most likely in April or May.