Just one day after a clear pro-independence victory in the Catalan election, Spain’s public prosecutor has requested the suspension of prison leaves for nine political leaders and activists serving their sentences for sedition. The leaders of the 2017 independence referendum were granted the low category status as inmates only two weeks ago, which allows for daytime and weekend leaves. As it coincided with the first day of campaigning for the Catalan election, they were allowed to take part in political rallies. Now, a day after the election was held on February 14, prosecutors requested their permission be removed.
Should Spain’s Supreme Court accept the prosecutor’s request, it would be the second time in less than three months that the nine political prisoners have been stripped of their prison rights shortly after receiving them.
With prison terms ranging from 9 to 13 years for the crime of sedition, the nine politicians and activists were sentenced for holding a referendum in defiance of Spanish authorities and attempting to create an independent republic in the fall of 2017. The most prominent politician incarcerated is Oriol Junqueras, the former vice president of Catalonia. He’s also the leader of Esquerra Republicana, the pro-independence party that won the most seats in the election tied with the Socialist party at 33, and which is likely to lead the next Catalan government.