Jody Williams, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, commented on the trial against 12 pro-independence leaders at Madrid’s Supreme Court. According to Williams, by jailing the accused the Spanish judiciary is “already implying they are guilty” and considered the whole trial as “a grotesque abridgment of human rights”.
This is not the only violation that Williams saw in following the Catalan Trial. “In addition to abridging the right of referendum, they’re abridging freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of peaceful protest”, she said.
Williams also accused Spanish police officers who’ve testified in court of “lying” and criticised the Supreme Court’s refusal to show video evidence suggested by the defense to respond to the police’s claims.
Insisting that the conflict in Catalonia is of a political nature, she argued that the issue should, therefore, be solved outside the Supreme Court. “This is not justice,” she said, “it seems like a farce.”
“I’m here,” said Williams, “because I think the most important thing for a government to do is to promote and support its peoples’ human rights.” However, she said, what she’s seeing is that “Spain’s unity is more important than the truth.”
This lack of judicial guarantees is not only dangerous for those living in Spain but also has a “ripple effect” throughout the world. “I think that Spain thinks that it’s under the radar, and people don’t really care,” she expressed, emphatically adding “but people care.”
Williams was awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for her fight against anti-personnel landmines and fight for human rights. She’s the president of the Nobel Women’s Initiative group, and signed the manifesto ‘Let Catalans Vote.’ She was requested as a witness for jailed activist Jordi Cuixart but the Supreme Court rejected this, another reason, she said, why she wanted to see the trial.