Guardiola among 200 figures calling for amnesty for jailed independence leaders

Football coach joins musicians, former politicians and activists in backing manifesto demanding "real dialogue" between Catalonia and Spain

Pep Guardiola at Man City vs Basel in February (by Reuters)
Pep Guardiola at Man City vs Basel in February (by Reuters) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

February 5, 2020 06:39 PM

One of Catalonia's largest pro-independence organizations, Òmnium, has presented a manifesto signed by 200 public figures from the political, social, cultural and sporting spheres that calls for an amnesty for the jailed Catalan independence leaders.

Backed by figures such as football coach Pep Guardiola and musician Gerard Quintana, along with former Catalan ministers and parliament speakers, the text presented on Wednesday says an amnesty is "essential" for dialogue between Catalonia and Spain.

Òmnium vice president Marcel Mauri called on the Spanish government to realize that without an amnesty for the nine Catalan leaders imprisoned for their roles in the failed 2017 independence bid there cannot be any "real dialogue."

Among the jailed leaders is Òmnium head, Jordi Cuixart, who is serving nine years for sedition with another activist leader, Jordi Sànchez, while also in jail is Carme Forcadell, the parliament speaker at the time, as well as former vice president, Oriol Junqueras.

Call for "sincere" talks "without conditions"

The manifesto calls for a process of negotiation that is "sincere" and "without conditions" in order to find a "real solution" to the political conflict, and says "democratic mechanisms" are required so that "the citizens of Catalonia can freely decide their political future."

Along with Guardiola and Quintana, other personalities who have signed the manifesto include singers Joan Dausà and Alguer Miquel, economist and activist Arcadi Oliveras, and leading lawyers August Gil Matamala and Carla Vall.

The political figures who have signed the manifesto include former parliament speakers Ernest Benach, Núria de Gispert, and Joan Rigol, and former ministers Joan Manuel Tresserras, Joaquim Nadal, Josep-Lluís Carod-Rovira, and Andreu Mas-Colell.