‘Our political project is still relevant’: ERC commemorates one year since exile and incarceration
“We can defend [our political project] without committing any crimes,” says exiled party secretary general
“Our political project is still relevant, and we can defend it without committing any crimes,” stated party secretary general Marta Rovira, speaking from Switzerland at an ERC event in Barcelona, held for the one year anniversary of her exile and of the incarceration of her colleagues.
In a video call broadcast on a screen during the act attended by ERC officials, Rovira insisted that “more than anything,” they are “democrats” and pledged to never lose this quality “despite political persecution.”
Catalan vice president Pere Aragonès, also in ERC, also attended the event and proclaimed that “what the courts want [the party] to lose, it will win at the ballot boxes.” Out of the twelve pro-independence leaders on trial, four out of the nine in prison ran with ERC. Aragonès has been called to speak as a witness in court.
Second time incarcerated for officials
Rovira stepped down from her post in parliament, along with Dolors Bassa (former labor minister) and Carme Forcadell (former parliament speaker), exactly one year ago, and announced that she had gone into exile in Switzerland the day after.
March 23, 2018, was also when Rovira was set to have her hearing at the Supreme Court, one which ultimately resulted in five of her colleagues (Bassa, Forcadell, Turull, Rull, and Romeva) being sent to pre-trial prison.
This was the second time they were taken into custody, the first time having been for approximately a month from early November to early December. This is also when former Catalan vice president and current ERC leader Oriol Junqueras was sent to prison, where he has been held consecutively since.