The Catalan National Assembly is calling for Spain to be included among the countries to be visited and investigated on the ground by MEPs investigating the use of Pegasus in the European Union.
The president of the Catalan National Assembly, Dolors Feliu, has sent a letter to all MEPs who are members of the European Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry into the Pegasus case (PEGA) asking for Spain to be included in the list of countries they will visit over the coming months as part of their investigation into the use of this spyware, which includes visits to Israel, Poland, Hungary and the United States.
In the letter, Feliu expressed her surprise and concern that the Commission has so far ruled out sending a delegation to Spain, without taking into consideration that Catalangate is the biggest case of espionage in Europe involving the use of Pegasus.
As the Canadian research centre Citizen Lab revealed in mid-April, the Spanish authorities carried out illegal surveillance actions since 2015, spying on at least 65 leaders and activists of the Catalan independence movement, as well as their relatives, lawyers and journalists. This blatant attack on fundamental rights and democratic principles has been denounced by international organisations such as the European Lawyers’ Association for Democracy (ELDH) and Amnesty International.
In this regard, the President of the Assembly condemned in her letter the increasing double standards of the European Union institutions in relation to the abusive practices of the Spanish State against the Catalan independence movement, emphasizing its duty to guarantee the rights of all European citizens. She also stressed that the indiscriminate and arbitrary surveillance of the citizens by an EU government cannot go unpunished, especially given the lack of interest shown by the Spanish government and the main political forces in investigating these abuses of power and into ensuring the accountability of those responsible for it, having even blocked the creation of a commission of enquiry in the Spanish Congress.
Given the inaction of the Spanish authorities, Dolors Feliu highlighted the importance of the European Union institutions, in this case the European Parliament, conducting a neutral and extensive investigation into this massive espionage, and thus ensuring the protection of the rights of Catalans, as citizens of the EU. Finally, the President of the Assembly remarked that nothing less than the right to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the right to privacy, and the rights of the Catalan national minority as a whole are at stake. And as such, also the reputation of the EU as a project based on democracy and fundamental rights.