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Amnesty requests being an observer in Catalan independence trial

Human Rights Watch denounces no police officer sentenced for excessive use of force during referendum


17 January 2019 02:34 PM


ACN | Brussels and Madrid

Amnesty International has sent a letter to the Spanish court that will try Catalan independence leaders requesting to be an observer to make sure the defendants receive a fair trial.

The NGO, which has repeatedly called for the release of pro-independence leaders in pre-trial jail, requested the Supreme Court to be present at the courtroom where the trial will take place.

In their statements of defense, several leaders requested five international observers to be present during the trial and supervise their case.

HRW: No police officers sentenced for referendum operation

Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued its World Report 2019 on Thursday, in which the NGO criticized Spain for failing to investigate the police operation against the independence referendum.

  • "No police officer had been convicted for excessive use of violence"

    Human Rights Watch World Report 2019

"No police officer had been convicted for excessive use of violence during the crack-down on the October 1, 2017, independence referendum," reads the report.

HRW has repeatedly called on Spain to launch an official investigation on police violence that day, which the NGO described as "disproportionate."  

The NGO also refers to the case against politicians and activists who helped organize the referendum: "In March, 25 independence leaders were indicted on various charges ranging from rebellion to misuse of public funds."


  • Spanish Supreme Court in Madrid (by Tània Tàpia)

  • Spanish Supreme Court in Madrid (by Tània Tàpia)