The Catalan National Assembly meets with Council of Europe’s Human Rights Rapporteur

The Latvian rapporteur Boris Cilevičs, from the Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group of the Council of Europe, is investigating human rights violations by elected officials in Spain and Turkey during the exercise of their mandate

The president of the Catalan National Assembly, Elisenda Paluzie, and members of the organization’s International Commission met yesterday with the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Human Rights rapporteur Boris Cilevičs. The meeting took place at the Catalan Ombudsman’s office, where the rapporteur held meetings with other organisations of Catalan civil society.

The Latvian rapporteur of the group of Socialists, Democrats and Greens of the Council of Europe is studying the situation of human rights in its member states, especially concerning those with the highest number of political prisoners, and has begun with Turkey and Spain, since they are the two countries with the most cases.

Ms. Paluzie has expressed her concern over the political and civic rights abuses and has expressed her belief that the violations derive from Spain’s noncompliance with the Catalan right to selfdetermination.

Mr. Cilevičs showed extensive knowledge of the situation in Catalonia and related his visit to the Catalan political prisoners. His questions have been aimed at the abuse of civic and political rights, and the usage of specific judicial figures during the trial to the Catalan civic and political leaders.

On October 2019, Cilevičs published a working paper where he linked the persecution of Catalan officials by the Spanish government after the 2017 Catalan independence referendum, and the three Kurdish mayors deposed and replaced by Turkish officials by the Erdogan government on August of 2019.

He also showed concern on the violations of the rights to freedom of speech and association, a biased interpretation of current legislation, the absence of parliamentary immunity, as well as a lack of impartiality and separation of powers in the Spanish trial against the deposed Catalan officials.

Mr. Cilevičs has finished his mission after three days in Spain, and although he has avoided commenting on his follow-up report, he has stated that it will be published “as soon as possible”.