Jailed pro-independence activist requests transfer to Catalan prison
Jordi Cuixart lawyers say that his rights to a family life and privacy as well as the rights of his one-year-old son are being violated as he is imprisoned 700 km away from home
Jailed pro-independence activist Jordi Cuixart has requested to be transferred to a Catalan prison, as confirmed by the Catalan News Agency (ACN). Cuixart has been imprisoned in Madrid since October 16, 2017, prosecuted for rebellion for his role in the pro-independence roadmap. His partner and his one-year-old son have been having to travel more than 1.400 kilometers each weekend in order to visit him at the Soto del Real prison.
According to his lawyers, this violates his rights to a family life and privacy – as stated in the Spanish Constitution - and also put at risk the rights of his one-year-old son, protected by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Moreover, they argue that keeping him at a Madrid prison violates his right to defense, as his lawyer has to travel thousands of kilometers to coordinate their strategy.
The General Secretariat of Penitentiary Institutions, a body depending on the Spanish Home Affairs Ministry, will now have to take a decision. They will consult with the instructing judge, Supreme Court magistrate Pablo Llarena. Although his opinion is not legally binding, sources from the Secretariat suggest they would follow his criteria. In previous occasions, judge Llarena has rejected to transfer other jailed leaders to Catalan prisons, such as sacked vice president Oriol Junqueras, who has a son and a daughter, the youngest of his children having turned three years old.
However, Jordi Cuixart is the first Catalan leader to put the request in to the General Secretariat of Penitentiary Institutions, a government body. Depending on the success of his case, other jailed politicians might follow the same strategy. In fact, most of them have young children.
Cuixart has a one-year-old son, Junqueras two young children, and other sacked ministers such as Raül Romeva or Josep Rull also have children between 3 and 11 years old. MP and former activist Jordi Sànchez also has two children who are minors. Jailed politicians Dolors Bassa and Carme Forcadell have two grandchildren.