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Spain's handling of independence conflict 'worrying' for democracy, says parliament speaker

Roger Torrent denounces "constant judicialization" in Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly

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26 January 2021 07:20 PM

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ACN|Barcelona

Spain's handling of the Catalan independence conflict is very "worrying from a democratic standpoint."

This is according to Roger Torrent, the Catalan parliament speaker of the left-wing pro-independence Esquerra Republicana party, who issued a harsh denunciation on Tuesday of what he described as the "constant judicialization" of a political conflict during the 46th political committee meeting of the Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly.

Reminding attendees that there are still nine people behind bars convicted of sedition for their role in the 2017 independence vote deemed illegal by Spain, Torrent stressed his belief in the need for "an amnesty and a referendum as a means of solving the political conflict."

The parliament speaker also brought up the manifesto signed by 50 international figures, including Dilma Rousseff, Yoko Ono, Ai Wei Wei, and five Nobel prize winners calling for an amnesty for the jailed leaders, as well as the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions' repeated calls for their release.

The Catalan parliament and the Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly

The Catalan Chamber has been an observing member of the Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly since 2008, when their membership was approved in a session in Quebec after an initiative from the then-Catalan-president, Ernest Benach.

Benach stressed that ''Catalonia shares the values and objectives of Francophonie,'' and also cited the ''historic links'' between Catalonia and Francophone countries. 

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  • Catalan parliament speaker Roger Torrent during a Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly meeting on January 26, 2021 (by Eli Don)

  • Catalan parliament speaker Roger Torrent during a Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly meeting on January 26, 2021 (by Eli Don)

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