By Green Left, Feb 7th 2019 --> Read original article
On February 12, the trial of 12 Catalan politicians and social movement leaders involved in the October 1, 2017 independence referendum is set to begin in the Spanish Supreme Court.
The leaders face sanctions as harsh as 25 year’s jail for their alleged offences — rebellion, sedition and embezzlement of public funds.
It is the first of three trials. Other defendants, including former police chief, José Lluís Trapero, will face the National High Court. Those members of the Catalan parliament who allowed discussion and voting on the referendum enabling law will face the High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC in its Catalan initials).
Nine of the defendants have been in preventive detention for between 12 and 15 months, with all their appeals for release on bail rejected.
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.
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
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
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.
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.Read more
Jordi Borrás is an anti-fascist who has written for HOPE not hate. His attacker who fled, leaving a lethal hunting knife behind, is a serving member of a secret police unit called the “Information Brigade”. Though his identity is known to his superiors, he has not been charged and remains on duty amid silence from the interior minister.
The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) joined their Spanish affiliates in condemning the physical attack against photojournalist Jordi Borrás on 16 July after his coverage of a political event in Barcelona. Both Federations demand an immediate investigation on the attack and hold the aggressor accountable.
Spain's supreme court has withdrawn its European Arrest Warrants against former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and five of his aides who remain abroad.
A German court ruled earlier that Mr Puigdemont could not be extradited to face the Spanish charge of rebellion over Catalonia's push for independence.