MEPs denounce ‘arbitrariness’ of Spanish judiciary towards independence leaders

Representatives of two Catalan parties present question to European Commission alleging “flagrant” breach of rights


Catalan MEPs Jordi Solé, Josep Maria Terricabras and Ramon Tremosa
Catalan MEPs Jordi Solé, Josep Maria Terricabras and Ramon Tremosa / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

February 9, 2018 12:59 PM

Catalan MEPs on Friday denounced before the European Commission that the Spanish judiciary is taking "arbitrary" rulings concerning pro-independence leaders. Ramon Tremosa, MEP for the PDeCAT party, and ERC party MEPs, Jordi Solé and Josep-Maria Terricabras, put forward a parliamentary question in which they claim that Jordi Sànchez is being kept in prison because “he has not renounced his political thinking" and because he remains politically active. They also say that similar reasons have been given to keep leaders Oriol Junqueras, Joaquim Forn and Jordi Cuixart in custody.

The MEPs claim that this “is a flagrant breach of articles 16, 21 and 23 of the Spanish Constitution, which recognizes the rights of ideological freedom, peaceful assembly and political dissent." As a result, the MEPs asked the Commission "what action it intends to take to ensure political freedoms in Catalonia”, which they claim are being “cut back in an alarming manner."

Amnesty International

The MEPs also referred to the Amnesty International statement this week, which described the detention of Sànchez and civic leader Jordi Cuixart as “excessive and disproportionate”  and which called for their “immediate release”. The MEPs also pointed out that the offense of rebellion with which the prisoners are charged must be linked to violence and that the “only violence we have seen in Catalonia in recent times is what we suffered at the hands of the Spanish police,” they added.

The regulations say that the European Commission is obliged to respond to all written parliamentary questions put forward by MEPs, although it is a process that can take months. So far, the EU institution has backed the Spanish government in the Catalan crisis, insisting that “these are times for unity and stability, not division and fragmentation.”