Numerous human rights and legal procedures were infringed during the investigation and trial of Catalan independence leaders in the Supreme Court, says the preliminary report on the case by the International Trial Watch (ITW) platform. The report focuses on three main areas: the activists Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez as the organisers of the public demonstrations, former Catalan parliament speaker Carme Forcadell as guarantor of parliamentary inviolability, and the politicians prosecuted.

The report claims that the “political nature” of the trial led to “a clear manifestation of repression of the exercise of fundamental rights and political ideas.” The final report is expected once the court has delivered its verdict, most likely in the fall.

The ITW has received support from some 30 international human rights organisations, including others in Spain. In all, some 60 people acted as ITW observers of the trial, with 40 legal experts and academics from four continents also involved.

Apart from this preliminary report, the ITW will present its so-called “shadow report” on the infringement of rights in Spain to the High Commission of the United Nations on July 18, which will then undergo the process of Universal Periodic Review in January. The 10 to 12-page report will include findings on the violent conduct of Spanish police during the independence referendum on October 1, 2017, the legal process that followed, and threats to freedom of expression and public protest.

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