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'Dramatic measure', 'personal decision', 'dignity': reactions to hunger strike

Catalan president says Spain's judiciary aims to "attack political dissidence" while opposition leader criticizes "privileges" for jailed leaders in prison


01 December 2018 05:25 PM


ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan government and parties have taken sides on the hunger strike started by two pro-independence jailed leaders on Saturday, and while they have received the backing of several politicians, none has explicitly criticized the protest.

The Catalan president, Quim Torra, supported the strike started by Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Turull on the grounds that "criminal law is being used for vengeance, establishing a makeshift legality in order to attack political dissidence."

"This dramatic and drastic measure being taken is because of what we find to be the complete violation of citizens’ rights, civil and political rights, and of respect for the legal processes of the Spanish state itself," he added in a statement.

"The Spanish judicial authorities are committing one of the worst outrages seen in Europe in recent years," said Torra supporting as well the reasons for the protest.

"Path of repression" needs to end, says VP

Quim Torra is member of the Junts per Catalunya candidacy, the one also including Jordi Turull and Jordi Sànchez.

His vice president, Esquerra's Pere Aragonès, called the Spanish Socialist government to undo "the path of repression" started by its precedent People's Party executive.

  • "The Spanish judicial authorities are committing one of the worst outrages seen in Europe in recent years"

    Quim Torra · Catalan president

Junts per Catalunya's leader and former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont also backed his former –now jailed– ministers.

"The Spanish state is a disgrace," he said, describing the protest as a sign of "dignity, resistance and determination."

Leader of opposition against leaked photo

The leader of the opposition in the country, Inés Arrimadas (Ciutadans), said the decision to go on such a strike "is very personal."

She did not further comment on this, but she did criticize the fact that a photo of the seven male incarcerated officials has been made public.

"We want to put an end to privileges [compared to other inmates]," she claimed.

Arrimadas believes the other inmates cannot send these kind of pictures to their families.

Spanish Constitutional court perpetrating "unacceptable abuse," says Barcelona mayor

The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, expressed "her support" to the complaints of Sànchez and Turull to Spain's Constitutional Court.

"Blocking appeals to prevent the European courts from tackling the cases is an unacceptable abuse," she said.

Colau leads Catalunya en Comú party, non-aligned in the national debate. The party head in the parliament, Jéssica Albiach, also backed Sànchez and Turull.

Several other jailed leaders have also tweeted in support of the protest kicked off on Saturday, including former minister Dolors Bassa.

"Call" for everyone

The Socialists did not take a stance in an event held on Saturday, but one ally of them in Parliament, Units per Avançar's Ramon Espadaler said the action "is a call" for everyone.

The leader of the People's Party in Catalonia, Alejandro Fernández, said it is a distraction strategy after the strikes and rallies of public servants this week.

At the other end of the political spectrum, far-left pro-independence CUP backed the hunger strike "to denounce a political trial."


  • Image of a Catalan parliament plenary session in November 2018 (by Guillem Roset)

  • Image of a Catalan parliament plenary session in November 2018 (by Guillem Roset)