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Other parliaments 'don't understand why Forcadell's in prison,' says speaker

From global summit of legislative assemblies in Switzerland, Catalan parliament president says representatives are puzzled why his predecessor was jailed

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15 November 2019 07:11 PM

by

ACN|Delémont

Catalan parliament speaker, Roger Torrent, says the jailing for sedition of his predecessor, Carme Forcadell, over the 2017 independence bid is causing "concern" among representatives of other legislative chambers.

Speaking from Switzerland, Torrent told the Catalan News Agency that "they do not understand, beyond the debate on independence, why the speaker of a democratic parliament is in prison with an eleven-and-a-half-year sentence."

Torrent was in Switzerland to take part in the European summit of the Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly, which this year was attended by representatives from a score of parliaments from around Europe and the rest of the world.

Referring to a warning by Spain's Constitutional Court to the members of the parliament bureau about the criminal consequences of not complying with its rulings, Torrent also said other chambers "don't understand how what can and can't be said can be censured." 

The speaker also talked about the puzzlement of other chambers over Spain's handling of the Catalan crisis: "In the Europe of consolidated democracies, the situation in Spain is incomprehensible from the point of view of basic democratic principles," he said.

The Catalan issue came up at the summit on Thursday, when Torrent gave a speech calling for a self-determination referendum to resolve the crisis, and Catalonia's bid to host the 33rd edition of the 2020 Francophonie European summit was passed unanimously.

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  • Catalan parliament speaker Roger Torrent at the Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly in Switzerland (by Alan Ruiz Terol)

  • Catalan parliament speaker Roger Torrent at the Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly in Switzerland (by Alan Ruiz Terol)

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