Convicted Catalan politicians – political solution necessary

Since the 2017 independence referendum there has been a criminalisation of Catalan pro-independence politicians and activists for sedition and related charges resulting in heavy prison sentences.

In a politically biased trial Spain’s Supreme Court convicted 12 Catalan high ranking politicians for their roles in a 2017 secession bid. In a landmark ruling, nine politicians have been ordered to serve between 9 and 13 years in prison for sedition following the region’s failed attempt at independence. Together they were sentenced to 100 years in prison. They were prosecuted for having peacefully organised Catalonia’s referendum on self-determination on 1 October 2017. Not only the trials, but even more the sentences reveal the political intention to politically silence these politicians for the duration of their sentences.

Pro-independence mayors, councilors, functionaries and activists continue to be targeted and approximately 3000 are awaiting trial for acts related to the political process in Catalonia.

In this context a proposal for an Amnesty Law has been presented to promote debate about a political solution which will bring an end to the deepening of the political conflict. ELDH supports the Amnesty and Freedom campaign in favour of this bill and to promote a debate on the democratic solution of the political conflict. Political problems must be resolved in a political way and not a juridical way. Political adversaries must be fought in parliaments and the press, in public forums, and not in the justice palace.