The Catalan Parliament  has changed status within the Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly and has become an associate member, with the right to voice and vote. The Catalan Chamber had been an observing member since 2008, when its membership was approved in a session in Quebec after an initiative from the then-Catalan-president, Ernest Benach.

During the 46thpolitical committee meeting of the Francophonie Parliamentary Assembly on Tuesday 26 January, the Catalan Parliament speaker, Roger Torrent, defined Spain’s handling of the Catalan conflict as very “worrying from a democratic standpoint. Torrent denounced the “constant judicialization” of a political conflict .

Reminding attendees that there are still nine people behind bars convicted of sedition for their role in the 2017 independence vote deemed illegal by Spain, Torrent stressed his belief in the need for “an amnesty and a referendum as a means of solving the political conflict.”

The parliament speaker also brought up the manifesto signed by 50 international figures, including Dilma Rousseff, Yoko Ono, Ai Wei Wei, and five Nobel prize winners calling for an amnesty for the jailed leaders, as well as the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions’ repeated calls for their release.

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