Former MP in Geneva justifies choosing “path of exile”
Independence leader Anna Gabriel says she will fight human rights violations from refuge in Switzerland
Anna Gabriel, the former MP for the pro-independence CUP party who moved to Switzerland after claiming she could not get a fair trial in Spain, sat next to deposed Catalan president Carles Puigdemont at an event in the HQ of the United Nations in Geneva on Monday. Both influential figures in the Catalan independence movement, Puigdemont and Gabriel were attending the debate, ‘The regression of human rights in Spain’.
After the event, Gabriel said she had chosen “the path of exile” to “denounce the infringement of civil and political rights” by the Spanish authorities. Gabriel also warned the European Union about “closing its eyes” to the political situation in Catalonia. "If these violations of civil and political rights are happening in a member state of the European Union, what might happen and be allowed to happen in other latitudes?” asked Gabriel.
"If these violations of civil and political rights are happening in a member state of the European Union, what might happen and be allowed to happen in other latitudes?"
Anna Gabriel · Former CUP MP in Geneva
The former MP decided to move to Switzerland three weeks ago rather than testify in the Supreme Court over her involvement in the push for independence in Catalonia. As in Puigdemont’s decision to move to Brussels, Gabriel cited her concerns about getting a fair trial. “Anna is not escaping. She is seeking refuge from political persecution. Just like many other people do on our planet,” said Gabriel’s lawyer at the time.
Another parallel between the situation of Gabriel and Puigdemont is their claims that by seeking refuge abroad they can focus international attention on the political conflict in Catalonia. The former MP stressed that Geneva “is an international city,” “a door to the rest of the world” and a “loud speaker for the cause of rights violations.” Refusing to comment on the talks over forming a Catalan government, Gabriel said “I am here because while there is a single violation of human rights, I will do everything to denounce it.”