Adrià Carrasco is a 25-year-old activist that participated in a number of protests in favor of Catalonia’s independence and against the imprisonment of politicians, demonstrations which included road cuts. In April, dozens of Spanish police officers tried to arrest him at his house in Catalonia for alleged crimes of terrorism, sedition, and rebellion.
They did not find him – but they did find a colleague of his, Tamara, who was sent to the National Court in Madrid and is currently out on bail, on the strict condition that she doesn’t leave her local town.
Her arrest and his exile prompted large demonstrations in the streets, as people insisted these were normal citizens that had only exercised their right to protest. Some unionist parties celebrated it, framing the group as violent.
“We are being used as scapegoats to scare people” Carrasco spoke to the press from Brussels, where he has been living in exile since Spanish police tried to arrest him. “In Spain, there are no guarantees of a fair trial” he said, justifying exile as a way to “keep fighting against the indiscriminate repression in Spain.”
There are currently seven Catalan politicians living in exile, including former president Carles Puigdemont, as well as rapper Valtònyc – the latter, sentenced to 3 and a half years in Spain over some lyrics – and Carrasco himself.
In fact, they all share the same team of lawyers, who have so far successfully managed to avoid Puigdemont and his ministers’ extradition back to Spain.
Activist Carrasco accused Spanish authorities of trying to “scare people” and of using terrorism accusations “lightly.” “I’m more convinced than ever that we should speak out” Adrià Carrasco said from Brussels. According to him, Spanish authorities try to frame the protesters as violent and as terrorists, in order to sustain the rebellion charges against pro-independence leaders.
“The political prisoners and those in exile are being accused of rebellion, and this won’t work without violence, so they’re looking to find this violence with us,” he said. For Carrasco, the charges are “totally unfair” and the Spanish justice is “illegitimate.” “I don’t recognize the Spanish justice, that’s why I’m in Belgium,” he added.
Adrià Carrasco is convinced that he was “arbitrarily” selected to be accused of terrorism because his role was only “the same as that of other hundreds of thousands of people.” “We need to get rid of the ghosts of Francoism” he stated.