A year has gone by since Oriol Junqueras and Quim Forn were sent to preventive detention. And it is precisely today, a year after that act of cruelty, that we have learned of the precise charges being made by the Spanish Public Prosecutor, accusing the Catalan political prisoners and exiles of rebellion and misappropriation of funds – charges that carry up to 25 years in gaol and disqualification from public office. We have also learned today that the Public Prosecutor has called for Jordi Sánchez to be sentenced to 17 years in gaol and permanent disqualification as President of the Catalan National Assembly as a result of the referendum on self-determination held on 1 October 2017. The same penalties are being sought for Carme Forcadell, Speaker of the Catalan Parliament and ex-President of the Catalan National Assembly, whilst 17 years is also being sought for Jordi Cuixart, President of the cultural organisation Òmnium Cultural, the association with which we have worked in close collaboration on very many occasions.
In the light of these facts, we DECLARE the following:
These charges exemplify how the Spanish state does not cease to insist on imposing political repression based on invented facts, imputing crimes that have not been committed and demanding sentences that are extremely serious. We note once again that the court in Schleswig-Holstein threw out the charges of rebellion and sedition in the case of President Carles Puigdemont, since it considered that no violence had occurred in respect of the acts for which his extradition was being sought.
This is a political trial typical of authoritarian regimes that put on show the non-independence of the judicial arm of government and its involvement in an anti-democratic state act against freedom of expression of political dissidence.
The action of the Public Prosecutor, which is accountable to the Spanish government, shows that it has not changed its views one iota and that it insists on carrying out the political persecution of the Catalan independence movement, which has always acted politically by democratic and non-violent means.
In the light of these charges, we denounce these anti-democratic proceedings, demand the stay and annulment of all the judicial actions and, in short, the release of all those charged and the return of those persons in exile.
We likewise denounce before the international community and, most especially, the peoples of Europe, the violation on the part of the Spanish state of the human rights of the political prisoners involved in these proceedings and in all of those proceedings that concern other citizens and which also go against the fundamental rights that guarantee freedom and free political action, the sovereignty of the Catalan Parliament and the acts of MPs in respect of the mandate given to them by the citizens who voted for them. From the Catalan National Assembly we commit ourselves to denouncing all violations of citizens’ freedoms and their right to taking part in public affairs, either directly or by means of their representatives freely elected by universal suffrage.
The farce represented by this judicial process, which goes from preventive detention to the possible sentences arising from an unjust trial, demonstrates how the only way we can obtain the freedom of the political prisoners and exiles and establish a state of law that guarantees fundamental freedoms and rights is by building the Catalan Republic.
Putting into effect the mandate of 1 October 2017 and consolidating the Catalan Republic is what will guarantee a state that respects the civil and political rights of the entire citizenship, including those who dissent from our aims. This shows just how urgent it is for the independence movement to set out and apply a joint strategy. We declare that we shall not stand idly by in the face of cruelty, that we shall carry out a campaign of denunciation of this so-called trial at national and international level which will include simultaneous demonstrations both in Catalonia and in the main capital cities of Europe.
We declare, loud and clear, in Spain, Europe and the world at large, that the people of Catalonia do not, and will not, accept this humiliation and subjection to a demophobic state, and we call on them to use all their strength and determination to support us in constant mobilisation to make our independence real and effective.