The only Catalan jailed leader not involved with any political party, Jordi Cuixart, has ruled out accepting a pardon if it were offered, in an interview with the British newspaper The Sunday Times. “It would mean recognising guilt — and I don’t” he says.
He has been already a year in precautionary detention waiting for a trial, in which he will face rebellion charges, carrying a sentence of up to 30 years behind bars.
In the interview he says he is ready for any verdict: “I don’t want to be in prison — I want to get back to my wife and family and business. But I’m prepared, if necessary, to spend a lot of time in here” he adds.
Demonstrators sent home
Jordi Cuixart, president of the grassroots pro-referendum organisation Òmnium Cultural, was sent to jail after the September 20, 2017 demonstrations outside the Catalan Ministry of Economy, which was being raided by the Spanish police seeking to find evidence of the independence referendum logistics.
One of the images of the day was Cuixart along with another civic leader, Jordi Sànchez, standing on a Spanish police car asking for the demonstrators to go home. Indeed, The Sunday Times claims that the “footage of the event clearly shows Cuixart and Sanchez urging the crowd to disband”.
In the interview, Cuixart explains he stood on the car after having asked for permission to the Spanish police and only to make sure the demonstrators could hear him. The Sunday Times also says Cuixart “played no role in the declaration of independence” as he was already in jail.
The interview was held in the Lledoners prison, where he is incarcerated, during a visit of Cuixart’s wife, Txell Bonet, and one-year-old son Amat, accompanied that time by The Sunday Times journalist Matthew Campbell.
The article gives some details on the visit by Cuixart’s beloved ones. “A smile lit Cuixart’s face when his wife and child entered the visitor room, where he sat behind a glass screen. Through a telephone he sang a nursery rhyme to Amat” the text reads. The song was about an elephant in a park. Father and son pressed hands together against the glass.
“He’s too young to understand” Cuixart said during the conversation with The Sunday Times, “but I hope he’ll be proud of me one day”. “It might seem impossible in 21st century Europe but I’m a political prisoner. What did I do to deserve being separated like this from my family?” asks Cuixart.
Meanwhile Amat’s mum, Txell Bonet, keeps “imagining what it will be like years from now when Amat is much older and asking all sorts of questions”. “How will I explain what his papa is doing in here” she asks.