US warns Spain of Catalan civic leaders held as ‘political prisoners’

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The US authorities has warned Spain of its considerations about political prisoners in Catalonia and potential human rights violations within the nation.

9 pro-independence activists are serving their sentences between 9 and 13 years after being convicted of sedition for his or her position within the 2017 indyref, and though the US State Division gives no actual judgment, it has highlighted a number of of their instances.

He cited an Amnesty Worldwide report denouncing the Supreme Court docket’s interpretation of sedition as “excessively broad” and cautioned in opposition to criminalizing “acts of protest”.

The report additionally criticizes the “arbitrary and extended” arrests of base leaders Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart within the wider context of a UN attraction calling on the Spanish authorities to meet its authorized obligations “to guard the human rights of individuals. minorities, together with the Catalans. minority, particularly with regard to freedom of expression, peaceable meeting, affiliation and participation in public life ”.

It got here after Cuixart’s case was included in a Council of Europe (CoE) rapporteur doc detailing essentially the most troubling of the CoE’s 47 member states.

Common rapporteur Alexandra Louis stated that the president of Omnium Cultural was the one human rights defender to be imprisoned by a member state of the European Union.

She stated: “The Supreme Court docket sentenced 12 Catalan activists, political and social leaders to 9 years in jail in reference to the trial. In response to his attorneys, the trial was political in nature.

Louis included Cuixart’s circumstances with different instances alleging intimidation of human rights defenders throughout the EU – in Poland, Italy, Cyprus and France. The rapporteur has already known as for a overview of Cuixart’s circumstances of detention.

In the meantime, Spain’s solicitor common has offered a report back to the Supreme Court docket to find out whether or not pardons for the 9 “political prisoners” needs to be allowed.

The lawyer represented the agency on the trial of the 2017 referendum leaders, however authorized sources stated the assertion didn’t seem to take sides.

It was the one report nonetheless pending earlier than the court docket dominated on pardons, however the prosecutor stated they shouldn’t be launched. Magistrates will difficulty a non-binding resolution earlier than a last resolution is made by the Spanish authorities.

There was an extended highway to a attainable pardon, after the federal government introduced final September that it could contemplate the request inside every week.

Spain’s Justice Minister Juan Carlos Campo stated the cupboard would settle for the request “for consideration.”

One of many hindrances to an acquittal was the fee of a surety to offset the legal responsibility prices claimed by indyref, which was set at € 4.1m (£ 3.49m sterling).

It’s understood that this sum has now been paid.

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