12 pro-independence activists acquitted by Barcelona High Court
CDR members chained themselves to doors of Catalan High Court in February 2018
Barcelona’s High Court has acquitted 12 members of the pro-independence protest network Committees for the Defense of the Republic (CDR) who chained themselves to the doors of the Catalan High Court on February 23, 2018.
The court ruled on Thursday morning that the CDR protest was permitted, under the right to freedom of expression, and that the protesters’ reaction to being removed by police was non-violent passive resistance, which cannot be punished by the legal system.
The prosecutor's office had sought prison sentences of up to two and a half years for crimes of public disorder, resistance and disobedience.
Magistrates pointed out that no damage was done by the defendants, and that no one was injured, including the police who removed the CDR activists. Eyewitness and video accounts confirmed that there was no violence.
Although roads were closed and traffic redirected by local police this did not constitute public disorder in the opinion of the court. Criminal convictions, therefore, would be "absolutely disproportionate."
It was also acknowledged that the entrance to the Catalan High Court was reopened at 9.05 am i.e. the beginning of the working day, and that officials were able to enter through the side doors, which had not been blocked by the protesters. In addition, no trials or court proceedings were suspended as a result of the defendants' actions.