Around 40 MEPs have called on Spain to “repeal or reform” the crime of sedition, used by the Supreme Court to convict nine pro-independence leaders to between 9 and 13 years in jail in 2019. In a letter made public on Tuesday, they say that the magistrates interpreted the sedition in a way “against the principle of legality.” They express a “rejection of an unfair ruling that creates a dire precedent for the right to protest.”

In the statement, the European Parliament members also demand the “immediate release” of the two leading activists imprisoned in 2019, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez, who are serving 9-year sentences, adding that Amnesty International has also asked for their release.

They also urge Spanish authorities to execute a plan so that “all prisoners in a semi-open regime can benefit from permits to leave prison and remain in their homes” during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Those supporting the letter include the co-leader of the European Greens party, Ska Keller; the leader of far-left GUE/NGL, Manon Aubry; and the EU chamber vice presidents Heidi Hautala (Greens-EFA) and Dimitrios Papadimoulis (GUE/NGL). Catalan pro-independence MEPs Diana Riba (Greens-EFA), Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí (Non-attached Members) have also signed it, as well as the Basque Izaskun Bilbao (Renew Europe), Pernando Barrena (GUE/NGL) and Milan Brglez (S&D).

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