Pro-independence activist Sànchez leaves prison on first 48-hour permit
He can enjoy 36 days of permit per year until he serves his nine-year jail sentence
The pro-independence activist Jordi Sànchez left jail on Saturday on his first 48-hour permit after being convicted to nine years in prison for his role in the 2017 independence push on sedition charges.
Sànchez will not take part in any public event nor talk to the press during the next two days, when he will have to return to his cell.
"19,944 hours in jail"
"I begin my first 2-day permit in order to be with the family. A permit doesn't mean freedom, it is a 48-hour parenthesis after 19,944 hours in jail," he tweeted shortly after leaving Lledoners penitentiary, in central Catalonia.
"Only amnesty will grant us freedom again. Thanks for your support and respect! We continue strong, without backing down," added Sànchez.
Començo el primer permís de 2 dies per estar amb la família. Un permís no és la llibertat, és un parèntasi de 48 hores després de 19.944 hores de presó.— Jordi Sànchez (@jordialapreso) January 25, 2020
Només l’amnistia ens retornarà la llibertat. Gràcies per tot el vostre suport i respecte! Seguim forts, sense defallir! pic.twitter.com/Ip37ZMWM4m
Sànchez is the second pro-independence leader involved in the 2017 events who enjoys such permit. On January 16, the president of Òmnium Cultural civil organization, Jordi Cuixart, used his first 48-hour permit.
"Only amnesty will grant us freedom again"
Jordi Sànchez · Jailed pro-independence leader
All nine pro-independence leaders were classified as 'medium category' (or 'segon grau', in Catalan), meaning they can enjoy 36 days of permit per year from the moment they serve a quarter of their sentence.
Sànchez and Cuixart are both serving nine-year prison sentences on sedition charges – the seven other imprisoned leaders were convicted to more time, up to 13 years, meaning they will start enjoying such permits in the coming months.
Jailed politicians in parliament on Tuesday
Yet, next Tuesday, six of the other leading figures behind bars are expected to attend the Catalan parliament.
The government gave its go-ahead for six of the jailed 2017 referendum leaders to attend the chamber for a committee.
Former vice president Oriol Junqueras, and former ministers Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Raül Romeva, Dolors Bassa, and Joaquim Forn had been summoned by the parliamentary investigation committee on the enforcement of direct rule from Madrid in autumn 2017 – and the justice department approved the decision.
The session will take place on January 28 and it will be the first time that they all set a foot in parliament since the autumn 2017 independence push.