Picture by Pau Venteo

Jailed pro-independence leader Jordi Cuixart left prison Thursday evening having been granted a 48-hour permit as he has already completed a quarter of his 9-year sentence behind bars, thereby becoming the first of the Catalan political prisoners to do so.

Òmnium Cultural, the civil society group Cuixart presides over, has confirmed that the activist has left the Lledoners prison where he has been carrying out his sentence and stated that he would not be participating in any public events over the next two days.

The former head of the pro-independence group Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Jordi Sànchez, has also been given a permit to leave prison but has not yet used it.

First granted permits

On Tuesday, authorities at Lledoners, where both men are imprisoned, provisionally granted them their first passes pending authorization from the Catalan government’s justice department, which came on Wednesday. According to the prison regime to which the leaders are subject to, they are allowed to apply for up to 36 days of leave per year, once a quarter of their sentence has been served.

Applications for leave that is two days and under must be assessed by the Catalan justice department, while those for up to seven days require authorization from a special judge. The other political prisoners will have to wait longer before they can apply for similar privileges, although some are already preparing applications to be allowed out of prison to work.

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