Assemblea denounces Spain’s intolerance and discrimination against Catalans before the OSCE

The Catalan National Assembly has taken part in the third edition of the OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting in Vienna, focusing on the role of civil society in the protection of tolerance and non-discrimination, to denounce the abuses suffered by Catalans. 

On the 27th and 28th of June, the Catalan National Assembly took part in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Supplementary Human Dimension Conference, focusing on the Role of Civil Society in the Promotion and Protection of Tolerance and Non-Discrimination, to denounce the abuses against Catalans by Spanish authorities

Assemblea’s board member Carles Fité took the floor during the first session of the conference to underline that the Catalan language and the education immersion model are constantly under the attack of Spanish nationalist parties. Fité criticised that “there is false speech about bilingualism that minoritizes the smaller language in the name of equality. Catalan use is decreasing with time, hence it must be protected”. Data shows that to maintain a good level of Catalan knowledge, “it is necessary that Catalan continues to be the vehicular language of the educational system in Catalonia”.  

In the second session, board member Jordi Vilanova denounced that even though OSCE participating states have committed to support civil society, in Catalonia the organisations working to protect the Catalan language and culture have been attacked and repressed by Spain, even in the form of intrusive spyware. The espionage scandal known as Catalangate alarmed three United Nations Special Rapporteurs, who demanded explanations from Spain. 

Another topic raised in the second and third sessions was the trend in Spanish nationalist media and social media to spread intolerant, hateful messages regarding the Catalan national minority. A practice that is very dangerous as it leads to discrimination, Catalonophobia and violence, as the UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues Fernand de Varennes warned in his 2021 report after his visit to Spain. The Rapporteur also noted that some information suggested the Spanish authorities were not responding sufficiently or prosecuting these allegations, indirectly “contributing to an atmosphere of increasing intolerance against minorities and of nationalistic vitriol”. 

Finally, Assemblea representatives called on the OSCE to take measures to ensure that Spain stops spreading hate speech and intolerance towards Catalans and ceases all attempts to criminalise the peaceful Catalan self-determination movement through judicial persecution. 

Assemblea takes part regularly in the meetings of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on human rights, where its representatives make oral statements, as well as submitting written statements to denounce violations of rights by Spanish institutions against the people of Catalonia.