Pro-independence MP and Parliament Bureau member Pau Juvillà, of far-left CUP, has been found guilty of disobedience by Catalonia’s High Court, for which he has received a 6-month disqualification from public office and a €1,080 fine. The case dates back to the 2019 municipal election period, when Juvillà was a Lleida city council member, and he refused to remove yellow ribbons from the CUP office in the Lleida city council.

Since late 2017 following the referendum deemed illegal by Spain, yellow ribbons have come to signal solidarity with the Catalan political prisoners as well as those who have gone into exile to avoid being prosecuted for their actions.

Ciudadanos, a unionist party that used to be Catalonia’s largest opposition party, lodged a complaint against Juvillà with the Electoral Board for displaying what they described as partisan symbols during an electoral period. The then-councilor refused to take them down in an act of defiance that led to disobedience charges. The yellow ribbons were eventually taken down by Catalan  police officers.

The public prosecutor had requested an 8-month disqualification from public office as well as a €1,440-fine. Because Juvillà became an MP in the Catalan Parliament following the February 14 elections, the case had to be tried in the High Court.

Former president also disqualified 

Juvillà is not the first politician to face a similar sentence due to yellow ribbons; in fact, former Catalan president Quim Torra was twice charged with disobedience for hanging symbols in solidarity with pro-independence figures from the government headquarters in Barcelona during election campaign periods.

In September 2020, Spain’s Supreme Court upheld the December 2019 Catalan High Court ruling disqualifying Torra for 18 months, the first yellow ribbon ruling against him, effectively removing him from office and handing the presidency to then-vice president Pere Aragonès.

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