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.
UN rights experts: Spain must respect fundamental rights in response to Catalan referendum
Roger Gale, Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe: “it has become clear that considerable and in some cases excessive violence was used”
Nils Muižnieks, Commissioner for Human Rights of Council of Europe calls on Spain to investigate allegations of disproportionate use of police force in Catalonia
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: “Police responses must at all times be proportionate and necessary.”
World Organization Against Torture: OMCT condemns indiscriminate and excessive use of force in Catalonia
Amnesty International calls on Spanish authorities to drop the charges of sedition and to put an immediate end to their pre-trial detention.
Amnesty International: Keeping Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart in pre-trial detention, a step in the wrong direction
Amnesty International: Ongoing detention of Jordi Sanchez is “excessive and disproportionate”
UN experts: “We urge the Spanish authorities to fully respect fundamental human rights, including the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, participation in public affairs and freedom of expression”
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights about Spain “I remind the authorities that pre-trial detention should be considered a measure of last resort”
Amnesty international: “Excessive use of force by National Police and Civil Guard in Catalonia”
PEN International calls on Spanish authorities to drop the charges of sedition and rebellion
Intermon Oxfam: “In front of a peaceful mobilization on the side of Catalan citizenship, the explicit use of violence during the day is rejectable and implies a severe infringement of fundamental rights.”
Liberties “Available video footage suggests that abuses of power and excessive use of police force against peaceful protesters may have been widespread”
UN expert urges Spain not to pursue criminal charges of rebellion against political figures in Catalonia
Amnesty International: 1-O in Catalonia. Prosecutor’s Office; between disinterest, obstruction and lack of collaboration with research on excessive use of force