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Why did Spain free independence leaders? - exploring the reasons behind the pardons

04 July 2021 12:35 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

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On June 22, the Spanish government granted pardons to Catalan independence leaders jailed for their roles in organizing the 2017 independence push, in order to foster social reconciliation with the Catalan government. The next day, the leaders walked free from their cells

The nine politicians and activists spent around 3.5 years behind bars, including a lengthy pre-trial detention. They were found guilty of sedition for leading Catalonia’s referendum push and attempt to declare independence from Spain in the fall of 2017. 

To understand the underlying motivations behind the pardons, we speak to Marc Sanjaume, a professor of Political Science at the Universitat Oberta of Catalonia (UOC) and a member of the Political Theory Research Group (GRTP). He has a PhD in Political Science from Pompeu Fabra University and he was a former advisor on comparative politics at the Institute for Self-Government Studies of the Institutional Government of Catalonia. 

  • Why did Spain free independence leaders? - exploring the reasons behind the pardons