The Catalan Parliament will be awarding the 2021 Medal of Honor, its highest distinction, to the pro-independence “victims of repression.” The ceremony will be held on 10 September, a day before Catalonia’s National Day, and the medal will then be deposited in the History Museum of Catalonia.
Speaker Laura Borràs, who announced the decision on Thursday evening, said the prize seeks to acknowledge “the suffering” of those who have faced legal repercussions from Spain as members of the movement. It’s not clear how many people will receive the award or will be allowed to attend the ceremony—as estimated by the Òmnium Cultural organization, there are more than 3,000 people “persecuted” for their role in the independence push.
The list of legal cases against independence supporters is long, and it includes nine leaders who were pardoned from prison last June, dozens of officials prosecuted for contributing to the 2017 referendum, and hundreds of grassroots activists charged for protest-related incidents.
The Medal of Honor might also recognize exiled Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who resides in Belgium as a member of the European Parliament, as well as pro-independence supporters charged with offenses that are not directly related to the 2017 push, like Puigdemont’s successor Quim Torra, who was sacked from office for defying orders to take down symbols deemed as partisan from public buildings.
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