One year ago, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called for the immediate release of three imprisoned pro-independence leaders: activists Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, and former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras. A report by the group asked for compensation for all three and considered their detention and imprisonment to be a violation of fundamental rights, especially freedom of speech.
Today, several people gathered in front of the Spanish government delegation in Barcelona and cut off traffic. The protesters, including the vice-president of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), Josep Cruanyes, denounce that the Spanish state has been in breach of the ruling on the political prisoners byf the UN Working Group for a year. Catalan police agents have warned them that the protest had not been communicated.
“Today it has been a year since the UN ruled that the political prisoners had only exercised their rights and that they must be freed,” read the Twitter account of both the ANC and Òmnium. The latter is an association led by one of the activists in jail, Jordi Cuixart. “From then on, Spain has been ignoring this and today we will remind them of it.”
One year after the UN demanded the release of Catalonia's political prisoners, Spain keeps them in prison, systematically violating international law. We demand that Spain obeys the UN's decision and for the right to self-determination to be respected. #SpainViolatesHumanRights pic.twitter.com/lQ8nMEuoe3
— Assemblea International (@assemblea_int) June 5, 2020
Similar posts were shared by the Junts per Catalunya, ERC, and CUP parties, as well as civic group ANC. “Self-determination is a right, not a crime,” read an image attached in the posts.
Indeed, Cuixart also referred to the UN’s ruling on his Twitter account. “No news: Spain has been ignoring a UN ruling that denounces that Spain violates human rights for 365 days, and we have been 962 days in political prison fighting to live in a solid democracy.”
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