International Trial Watch – Catalan referendum Case is a platform composed of organisations working to defend human rights and freedoms. The aim of the platform is to ensure the presence of national and international observers in the trial of Catalan political prisoners and social leaders that will take place in the Spanish Supreme Court.

Twelve people, nine of whom are in pre-trial detention, have been charged with crimes of rebellion, sedition, embezzlement of public funds and disobedience, for which the public prosecutor alone requests a total of 177 years in prison.

The judicial proceedings conducted so far and the events described in the charges have led to a situation in which the defence, Spanish jurists and international organisations are questioning whether the process has been developed within the framework of fundamental rights, such as the right of freedom of expression, assembly and demonstration, political participation and ideological freedom. The right to freedom has especially been questioned because of the pre-trial detention. These organizations and institutions have also questioned the respect for the principle of criminal legality, the right to a judge predetermined by law, the right to an impartial judge and the right to a defence.

Furthermore, the judicial proceedings against the Catalan political prisoners are embedded in a context in which judicial independence is being officially questioned by both assessment agencies within Spain and international ones, such as the latest GRECO report issued in 2017 by the Council of Europe.

For these reasons, we appeal to scholars and members of European associations and institutions to act as national and international observers, analyse the situation and finally explain to the public opinion whether or not these individuals are being prosecuted impartially, independently and under the framework of human rights.