Assemblea takes part in the OSCE supplementary meeting on Peaceful Assembly in Vienna

This edition of the Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting dealt with the Right to Peaceful Assembly and the trends in legislation and practice, digital “online assemblies,” and the role of independent monitoring institutions.

Assemblea attended the third OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting in Vienna that took place on the 21st and the 22nd of November, focusing on the right to Peaceful Assembly. The representative of Assemblea, National Secretariat member Jordi Vilanova, spoke at the three sessions of the conference on matters closely related to the Catalan pro-independence movement.

Vilanova spoke about the Spanish Supreme Court sentences against 9 Catalan civic and political leaders, with charges from 9 to 13 years of jail for calling demonstrations and organizing a referendum. The massive civic protests that followed the sentences after October 14th have been met with unprecedented violence by police forces.

Especially worrying are the Spanish attempts to close down Catalan digital activist platforms, as has been happening since 2017 with websites and mobile apps being taken down, with the Spanish government going as far as recently approving a decree-law, without being passed by the legislators in the Spanish Parliament, shutting down websites and social media over “threats to public order.”

The Right to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly is especially relevant in a scenario of increasingly authoritarian regimes, in which minorities are seeing their rights progressively being taken away from them. These issues have been criticized by international bodies such as the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, the Council of Europe, and Amnesty International, who have called for Spain to release the prisoners and find a political solution to the matter.

Read the interventions here.