These are the Catalan 9 independentisit in jail: charged with rebellion and sedition; imprisoned for a year without trial.
The Catalan 9 are the European Union’s only political prisoners. Their continued imprisonment is a stain on Europe’s democratic credentials. No other European democracy would imprison its democratic political opponents in this way.
This is not about Catalan independence. This is about freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of belief and freedom of thought. It is about the power of Europe’s democracies to guarantee these freedoms for all Europe’s peoples.
It is time for an act of solidarity with the Catalan 9. Regardless of ideology, democrats from the Right, Left and Centre should demand that in the 21st Century no democratic politician, no civil society leader, should fear imprisonment for expressing their democratic views. The verdict of the people must be exercised in the ballot box not the witness box.
It is time for Justice. It is time to Free the Catalan 9.
The former President of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell
The President of Òmnium Cultural a civil society organitation, Jordi Cuixart
The former President of the Assemblea Nacional Catalana a civil society organitation, Jordi Sanchez
The former Vice President of Catalonia, Oriol Junqueras
The former Catalan Minister for Home Affairs, Joaquim Forn
The former Catalan Minister for Labour, Dolors Bassa
The former Catalan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Raül Romeva
The former Catalan Minister for Territory and Sustainability, Josep Rull
The former Catalan Government’s Spokesman, Jordi Turull
How long have they been in jail?
- The two civil society leaders have been held in preventive detention awaiting trial since 16 October 2017.
- The former Vice President of Catalonia and the former Home Secretary have been held in preventive detention awaiting trial since 2 November 2017.
- The other four former Catalan Cabinet Secretaries have been held in preventive detention awaiting trial since 23 March 2018. They had all been previously held at a prison in Madrid for a month in 2017 (2 November – 4 December 2017), but were released following a court order on 4 December 2017.
- The former President of the Catalan Parliament has been held in preventive detention awaiting trial since 23 March 2018.