The Times view on the trial of the Catalan 12: Spanish Inquisition

By The Times, Feb 1st 2019 --> Read original article

The landmark legal case involving separatist politicians is a test of Madrid’s justice.


The trial of Catalan politicians and activists on charges related to their role in the region’s 2017 bid to split from Spain is expected to start next week. This will turn the spotlight back on to a crisis that threatened to tear apart a major European country and inflict further instability on the continent. The accused face charges of rebellion, sedition, disobedience and misuse of public funds. In an interview with The Times, Jordi Sànchez, the former leader of the Catalan National Assembly civil action group, who is facing up to 17 years in jail if convicted, claims that this will be a “political trial”. The Spanish justice system needs to dispel such fears by ensuring the trial is fair. How the Spanish state conducts itself in the coming months will determine whether this trial draws a line under the crisis or reignites it.

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US Congress: It's time to prioritize human rights and democratic values

Andrew Davis, Executive Director of the Catalonia America Council, former Head of the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the United States, Canada and Mexico and Adjunct Professor at the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), urge Congress, as it starts its new session, to do so on an international scale and recommit the USA to protecting human rights across the globe, specifically in Catalonia.

Why focus on Catalonia, you may ask? He is often presented with the difficult task of trying to contextualize and explain the complex and fast-changing story of Catalonia to our American friends and colleagues. The information making the trans-Atlantic jump to the U.S. is sporadic, which prevents many in the States from understanding the severity of an increasingly worrisome situation, complete with politically-driven arrests, detentions, exile, censorship and hunger strikes.


© Getty Images

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"Katalonien liegt mitten in EU, also schweigt man"

Interview: Krystyna Schreiber

Befürworter der Unabhängigkeit vom spanischen Nationalstaat sitzen im Gefängnis. Linke-Politiker besuchte sie. Ein Gespräch mit Andrej Hunko

Sie haben in der vergangenen Woche inhaftierte katalanische Politiker und Aktivisten im Gefängnis Lledoners besucht. Wie haben Sie deren Stimmung wahrgenommen?

Ich habe die noch nie so positiv bei Gefangenenbesuchen erlebt, das hat mich beeindruckt. Die Ausstrahlung und Zuversicht der Gefangenen war bemerkenswert. Ihrer Einschätzung nach werden sie in Madrid verurteilt werden, und sie wollen dann nach Strasbourg zum Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte gehen. Dort erwarten sie einen Sieg für sich.


Demonstration für die Unabhängigkeit Kataloniens in Barcelona (16.10.2018)
Foto: Albert Gea/REUTERS

 

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Is this democracy? Two pro-independence mayors arrested without judicial order while fascists act with impunity

Spanish police have also arrested 9 more people (activists, journalists and students). Detentions started early in the morning and the Catalan Superior  Justice Court TSJC confirms that NO warrants have been issued

Two mayors from the pro-independence CUP party were arrested on Wednesday morning in the Girona region, in northern Catalonia. The two politicians were later released.


Photo: Marc Martí

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FREE EXPRESSION UNDER FIRE IN CATALONIA. PEN AMERICA REPORT

January 11, 2019
Original article: https://pen.org/free-expression-catalonia/

After more than 14 months in pre-trial detention, Oriol Junqueras, the former vice president of the Catalan regional government, is set to go on trial January 22, 2019, in Madrid on charges of “rebellion, sedition, and misuse of public funds”—for his central role in organizing the October 1, 2017, referendum on Catalonian independence. That referendum was disrupted by the intervention of Spanish riot police, who seized ballot boxes and dispersed voters in brutal actions, after the Spanish executive and judicial authorities had declared the vote illegal. An investigation by Human Rights Watch concluded that police used excessive force when confronting voters and demonstrators, hitting non-threatening protestors with batons and resulting in 893 reported injuries.

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Pro-independence activist persecuted as a terrorist in Spain

Persecuted as a terrorist in Spain

Pressenza. International Press Agency.
05.01.2019 - Barcelona, Spain 
- Krystyna Schreiber
Source: https://www.pressenza.com/2019/01/persecuted-as-a-terrorist-in-spain/

Persecuted as a terrorist in Spain

Tamara Carrasco campaigns for an independent Catalonia. She was arrested and has been in house arrest for months

In the morning of April 10, 2018, the 35-year-old social worker Tamara Carrasco García is woken by loud knocking on the front door. When she opens, there are a dozen Spanish paramilitary Guardia Civil in camouflage uniforms with machine guns. They have a search warrant against her and a warrant as a suspect of rebellion, sedition and belonging to a terrorist organization. Tamara is not aware of being guilty of anything: “I never risked more than a speeding ticket or an accusation for disobedience,” she says, sitting in a small library in the centre of her home town of Viladecans, a city not far from the Catalan metropolis of Barcelona.

 

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16 Stunden auf 15 Quadratmetern (der Freitag)

Spanien Carme Forcadell, einst Parlamentspräsidentin in Katalonien, sitzt nun seit fast einem Jahr im Gefängnis und wartet auf den Prozess
Carme Forcadell beim Verlassen des Obersten Gerichts in Madrid
Foto: Francisco Seco/AP/dpa
Noch zur Regionalwahl im Dezember 2017 empfing Carme Forcadell Journalisten in einem mit Edelholz ausgestatteten Büro. Fotos auf einem Regal erzählten vom unermüdlichen Einsatz der damaligen Parlamentspräsidentin für ihr Katalonien. Jahrelang hatte Forcadell die Massen als Vorsitzende der ANC, einem der größten Bürgervereine, die sich für die Unabhängigkeit einsetzen, begeistert. Bei den Wahlen 2015 verkörperte sie den Traum vieler Unabhängigkeitsanhänger von gelebter Demokratie. Warum sonst wurde sie als Aktivistin in das höchste Amt der katalanischen Legislative gewählt? Viele ihrer Gegner hielten sie für „ideologisch zu unflexibel“.
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PRISONNIERS POLITIQUES EN GRÈVE DE LA FAIM

 

Depuis plus d'un an, 16 représentants du monde politique et de la société civile se trouvent injustement en détention provisioire sans procès judiciaire, ou en exil forcé, pour avoir facilité la tenue d'un référendum d'autodétermination demandé par le peuple et approuvé par le Parlement catalan.

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ES IN DER EU POLITISCHE HÄFTLINGE IM HUNGERSTREIK GIBT

 

16 politische Vertreter und Sozialaktivisten der katalanischen Gesellschaft befinden sich seit über einem Jahr ohne ein ordentliches Rechtsverfahren in Untersuchungshaft oder im Zwangsexil, weil sie – so wie von der Bevölkerung gefordert und vom zuständigen Parlament genehmigt – eine Volksabstimmung über die Unabhängigkeit Kataloniens ermöglicht haben.

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Four political prisoners on hunger strike in Spain for 20 days

 

4 of these political prisoners went on a hunger strike over two weeks ago. They are on a hunger strike as the only possible way to protest within jail walls, to denounce the violation of human and civil rights in Spain.

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