International reactions

After the Supreme Court Judgement 459/2019 was made public on 14 October 2019, many national and international organisations shared their reactions to the contents of the judgement.

We have gathered some of these reactions:

IRAI (14/10/19)

IRAI is the Research Institute on Self-determination of peoples and national independence based in Quebec. Its president Daniel Turp, its vice president Stéfanie Tougas, and its secretary Anthony Beauséjour took part as observers during the trial. As soon as the judgement was made public they issued a press release in which they regretted the sentences and considered that the judgement was a violation of fundamental rights of the accused.

Antigone and CILD (14/10/19)

CILD (Italian Coalition for Civil Rights and Freedoms) together with Antígone issued a press release showing their bewilderment with the Supreme Court’s judgement. Both organisations considered that the judgement confirmed the political use of criminal law, expressed concern for the conviction of civil society representatives that were only responsible of organising peaceful demonstrations. They concluded that the judgement concerned the whole of Europe, because it set up an important and worrying dividing line for the right to freedom of opinion.

Giuristi Democratici (16/10/19)

On 16 October 2019, the association Giuristi Democratici made public a press release. They considered that the judgement of the Supreme Court was a reprehensible dark page in the history of the rule of law.

ELEN (17/10/19)

European Language Equality Network (ELEN) condemned the judgement of the Supreme Court with a press release on 17 October 2019. ELEN stated that it was a disgrace for Spain, Europe, democracy, as well as undermining fundamental rights.

ELDH (18/10/19)

ELDH, the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights, condemned the judgement of the Supreme Court and called on the Government of Spain to bring about the earliest release of these Catalan prisoners, and urged the European Union and its member states to work with Spain to achieve early release, and to redouble efforts for a political solution.

Amnistia Internacional (10/11/19)

Amnesty International made public on 10 November 2019 its extensive assessment of the judgement of the Supreme Court. They considered it had been a fair trial but expressed concern about the definition of the crime of sedition in Spanish legislation and the interpretation made by the Supreme Court of that crime. According to the organisation it violated the principle of legality and allowed for disproportionate restrictions to be imposed on behaviours that may be protected by the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

AED (23/11/19)

AED (European Democratic Lawyers) made public on 23 November 2019 a press release on the judgement of the Supreme Court. They condemned the violation of human rights, the violation of criminal and procedural principles, the principles of fragmentation, proportionality and ultimate ratio within the criminal process. AED also considered that the serious violation of these rights and principles made it impossible to analyse the sentence from a strictly legal point of view.