The President of the Catalan National Assembly Dolors Feliu has visited the United Kingdom, where she has been invited to give a speech on the current situation in Catalonia and the latest episodes in Catalan politics, in an event held at the UK Parliament in Westminster. The meeting was organised by Assemblea’s branch in the UK, ANC England, and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia, a work and study group in the UK Parliament created in 2017 to monitor the Catalan conflict and develop links between the two territories.
In the session, Dolors Feliu gave a summary on the main events in Catalonia, sharing the latest news in Catalan politics and denouncing how repression of Catalans continues, five years after the independence referendum. She explained the Catalangate scandal and highlighted that there are more than 4.000 people prosecuted for their political ideas. “This repressive wave has been planned by Spanish authorities to create a chilling effect among the pro-independence movement, halting its activities”, Feliu stated.
Another topic that was discussed was the dialogue table between the Catalan and the Spanish governments. “We warned that it would bear no fruit, and we have been proven right. It was said that the dialogue would dejudicialize the Catalan conflict, but from the outset, the Spanish government refused to talk about self-determination, referendum, amnesty or Catalonia’s independence”, said Dolors Feliu. “Therefore, what kind of dialogue is it that avoids every single one of the most important topics for Catalonia? How can Catalonia dialogue with a state that continues denying our right to self-determination, abusing human rights with a total lack of accountability, as if the fundamental rights of Catalan citizens didn’t matter?”
The president of the Catalan National Assembly also expressed that the Catalan conflict is not an internal affair and focussed on the work that the organisation is doing – and will continue to do – pressuring the European institutions not to turn a blind eye on the suffering of Catalan citizens. “Catalans are European citizens, and as so we have certain rights that need to be protected. If Spain abuses fundamental rights with impunity, this sets a dangerous precedent in the European Union”.
During her visit to London, Dolors Feliu had closed door meetings with parliamentarians from the Scottish National Party and Sinn Féin to understand the current situation of respective territories and to find ways to continue the cooperation and engagement between the nations.
Dolors Feliu also met with academics of the Cambridge University Catalan Society and Privacy International, a London-based international NGO working to protect digital rights around the world, to speak about the Catalangate espionage scandal and on demanding accountability from states that use cyberespionage to violate fundamental rights.