Catalan political prisoners have been in detention for almost two years, an unjustified pretrial imprisonment. Now we know the sentences: up to 13 years, a sum of a 100 years of prison for all the condemned leaders.
100 years for defending democracy.
100 years for calling peaceful demonstrations.
100 years for convening a referendum on self-determination.
These convictions are the judgment of an unfair, biased and dishonest trial.
The trial was a farce from the very start. It is not we that say this: dozens of international observers have said as much, having witnessed complaints about the burlesque attitude of the court. Witnesses also of the use of abusive tactics to present only the narrative fabricated by the Spanish state to criminalize the Catalan pro-independence movement.
This is a trial is an exemplary punishment of a whole people for having exercised their legitimate right of self-determination. It is not only us Catalans that have protested about this. International organizations and NGOs working in the field of human rights, such as the United Nations, Amnesty International, International Trial Watch, the international human rights network EuroMed Rights and the International Federation of Human Rights have also done so. Even the Council of Europe is studying the case.
The trial on the independence process amounts up to an amalgam of violations of human and fundamental rights. International voices have made themselves heard to condemn them. In April 2018, the United Nations urged the Spanish authorities to refrain from pursuing the criminal charge of rebellion against political figures and protesters in Catalonia.
The UN also stated that charges of rebellion for acts that do not involve violence or incitement to violence may interfere with rights of public protest and dissent.
But the repressive tidal wave of the Spanish state against the people of Catalonia in the form of violations of rights goes beyond these cases. This year, Spain has violated the rights of political participation of millions of Catalans. The Spanish Central Electoral Board refused to let two politicians in exile – Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín – and imprisoned politician Oriol Junqueras take the oath to become members of the European Parliament, despite having won 2.3 million votes and being elected as such.
As a result, 2.3 million Catalan voters are not represented in the European institutions.
This is a flagrant violation of the political rights of the Catalan national minority.
It is shameful for Spain, but also shameful for Europe.
Repression needs to be stopped, but we shall not stop it by sitting still.
We have the tools: non-violent resistance and large-scale, permanent mobilization.
In a few days five marches for freedom will start, ending in Barcelona with a great general strike. Hundreds of demonstrations and concentrations and various forms of protests are being prepared right across the territory. Catalonia will respond in a peaceful yet determined way.
International denounce is another key element in this process. We ask citizens in Europe and across the world to activate mechanisms of solidarity, by mobilizing, publicly reporting these facts to your media, and contacting your political representatives. What is happening to Catalonia today could happen to you tomorrow.
We aren’t on our own, nor do we speak out only in the name of the people of Catalonia. We speak out in the name of universal rights.
Now is the time to act, to act now before it’s too late.
Let’s defend ourselves from repression, let’s go onto the offensive and let’s accuse the Spanish State.
Defending Catalonia’s right of self-determination is defending the rights of all.
Catalan National Assembly