The United States government has expressed concern about rights violations against the Catalan national minority and the existence of Catalan political prisoners in an annual report on violations of rights in the world. The document includes allegations on various issues, presented by leading human rights organizations, such as some rapporteurs, the UN Arbitrary Detention Group and Amnesty International, but also the Spanish Ombudsman, who often acts as counterpoint of international organizations.

The docuent refers to the UN rapporteur, who in a report of March 8 last year expressed concern about the restrictions and criminal prosecution against Catalan politicians and civil society representatives who had participated in the 2017 referendum: “The special rapporteur called on the government to abide by its legal obligations to protect the human rights of minorities, including the Catalan minority, especially regarding the freedoms of expression; peaceful assembly, association; and participation in public life. The ombudsman rejected the categorization of the Catalan-speaking population as a minority. The special rapporteur agreed with conclusions of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention that the extended detentions and subsequent convictions of Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, the two civil society activists convicted in the case, as well as the other Catalan political leaders in prison, were to intimidate them because of their political views”.

The text also states that the UN rapporteur on minorities warned about the growth of hate speech against Catalans as a minority on social media and other media, following protests against the ruling: “The rapporteur also reported that politicians and more people from outside the region [Catalonia] began to point to Catalans as traitors who should be treated severely, sometimes using violent language”.

It also includes the complaint of former Speaker of Parliament Roger Torrent and ERC MP Ernest Maragall for the computer attack they received, in which they were spied on their mobile phones with Pegasus, an Israeli software that only states have access to.

 

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