A collection of signatures in support of Catalonia’s right to freedom as a people, coordinated by the Catalan National Assembly, brings together 120 personalities and entities from around twenty countries all over the world. The signatories call for an end to Spanish repression, respect for the fundamental rights of the victims of repression, the release of prisoners, and recognition of the right to self-determination of the people of Catalonia.
One hundred twenty international personalities from more than 20 countries around the world, including members of the European Parliament, academics, activists and social and human rights organizations, have supported a manifesto promoted by the Catalan National Assembly.
Acknowledged figures such as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Adolfo Pérez Esquível (Argentina), the former president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya, the president of Sinn Féin, Mary Lou McDonald (Ireland), the former leader of the Bloco d’Esquerda and historian Fernando Rosas (Portugal), the Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and President of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia Hywel Williams, or the former Vice President of the European Parliament José Pacheco-Pereira (Portugal), as well as representatives of civil society such as the “Madres de la Plaza de Mayo”(Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo), the European Language Equality Network (ELEN), the Székler National Council and various associations in support of the Rif people, have all contributed their signatures to the document.
The manifesto denounces the judicial persecution to which elected political leaders and Catalan activists are being subjected for their participation in the organization of the independence referendum of October 1, 2017, as well as the victims of repression at the hands of the Spanish authorities in the time since then, especially during the protests against the October 2019 sentences.
In addition, the manifesto mentions the 2019 opinion of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations, which calls for the immediate release and redress for the Catalan political prisoners. It also highlights the lack of respect for the presumption of innocence of the prisoners, and the lack of competence of the Spanish Supreme Court to try them, as well as other human rights violations that occurred during the trial, as denounced by various international organizations.
In this sense, the signatories of the manifesto denounce “the criminalization of the political will of the people of Catalonia by the Spanish State, which does not cease, and which has led to the prosecution of nearly 3,300 people,” as well as “violations of fundamental rights such as the right to freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of assembly and to political representation”, as condemned by the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Member States of the United Nations in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review, and non-governmental organizations such as Amnesty International, the World Organization Against Torture or the World Organization of Jurists, among others.
The text highlights that the electoral results of the 14 February 2021 elections, in which the pro-independence forces achieved a historic absolute majority in seats, and this time also in votes (52% of the total), ratify the will of the Catalan people to become an independent state, expressed in the victory of the referendum of October 1, 2017, a claim to which the international community cannot turn a blind eye and remain impassive.
For all this, the signatories demand respect for the fundamental rights of the victims of Spanish abuse, the release of prisoners, an end to repression and respect and recognition of the right to self-determination of the people of Catalonia.