Spain is a country where the Rule of Law is continuously violated

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We will inform you of the following facts to demonstrate that the Rule of Law is continuously being violated in Spain as opposed to what Mr. Seibert, Mr. Schinas, Mr. Timmermans, Mr Juncker and Mr Tajani have said publicly during the last months. For all these reasons, we ask that your institutions detain the extradition of Carles Puigdemont because it will hardly have a fair trial. We also request that Spain cease to pursue exiled Catalan politicians (Ponsatí in the United Kingdom, Comín, Serret and Puig in Belgium, Gabriel and Rovira in Switzerland) and grass-roots activists from the Committees of Defense of the Republic. Also, free all Catalan politicians (Junqueras, Forn, Turull, Rull, Romeva, Bassa and Forcadell) and pro-independent activists (Cuixart and Sánchez) who are locked in preventive jail. Finally, we are demanding respect for the right to peaceful self-determination and an international intervention with the active participation of the European Union to find a solution negotiated in Catalonia.

  1. The United Nations Human Rights Committee did a request to Spanish State to "take all necessary measures to ensure that Mr Jordi Sánchez i Picanyol can exercise his political rights", citing article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [1]. Judge Llarena from Spain’s Supreme Court has repeteadly prevented Jordi Sanchez, who is in pre-trial jail, from attending an investiture ceremony. Jordi Sanchez was the candidate proposed by the President of the Parliament to lead Catalonia's regional government. According to some experts, preventing the exercise of the right of active or passive suffrage without a final judicial sentence is the most serious crime of prevarication that can be committed in a democracy [2]. Same offence was repeated against Jordi Turull. Judge Llarena ordered Jordi Turull, Catalonia’s presidential candidate, to remain in custody less than 24 hours before he was due to attend an investiture debate [3].
  2. Carles Puigdemnot’s lawyer has told UN Human Rights Committee that Spain has violated his right to participate in political life [4]. The Spanish Constitutional Court imposed precautionary measures to prevent Carles Puigdemont from being voted president with no legal grounds as these matters that are not for the court to decide [5]. On the contrary, the president of Catalan Parliament, Roger Torrent, who is the maximum authority in Spain in relation to catalan investiture, was threatened by Spanish State’s spokesman to “answer in the courts” if he allowed Puigdemont to take office from distance [6]. Even, Mariano Rajoy threatened to apply the direct rule again in Catalonia if Puigdemont becomes the Catalan president again [7].
  3. Imprisoned Catalan independence leaders appealed the UN working group on arbitrary detention, asking it to intervene in the cases of the ousted vice-president, Oriol Junqueras, and the grass-roots activists Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez because their detention by Spain is an affront to human rights, designed to prevent them from performing their role as political representatives of the Catalan people [8]. It’s worth to point that they received the court notification in extremely short notice, less than 24 hours, facing crimes of more than 30 years in prison [9], thus potentially violating their right for having a fair trial as it’s established by Article 6 of Human Rights. Four of them has been more than 150 days in prison and there is no date for trial.
  4. On the 1st October, international observers reported that law enforcement officials resorted to excessive use of force against voters, peaceful protesters including use of rubber balls and chemical irritants. According to the UN Independent Expert, Alfred de Zayas, this could have been a violation of article 2 from Lisbon Treaty and should be investigated [10].
  5. The appointment of a Coronel serving in the Spanish Ministry of Home Affairs to direct the Catalan police (Mossos d’Esquadra) on September of 2017 is a direct violation of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia of 2006, which is part of the constitutional framework itself. Organic Law 2/1986 invoked by the Spanish Ministry of Interior to defend these police measures is not applicable in Catalonia since it collides with Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia of 2006 [11].

  6. From 19th September to 1st October, the Civil Guard opened private letters addressed to thousands of citizens, searched government offices and private companies, and intercepted the postal delivery of subscription magazines in an attempt to seize all materials related to the referendum. These activities constitute a violation of the right to privacy and the secrecy of communications recognised in Article 18 of the Spanish Constitution. Moreover, Spanish police forces also shut down hundreds of websites and confiscated electoral materials and propaganda. These actions contravene Article 20 of the Spanish Constitution, which protects the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of information During the weeks prior to the holding of the referendum several public events were banned in Catalonia, Madrid, Valencia and Vitoria. Such bans violate the rights of assembly and demonstration protected by Article 21 of the Spanish Constitution and governed by Organic Law 9/1983, as well as the right to political participation as outlined in Article 23 of the Spanish Constitution [12].
  7. During this winter, two rappers have been convicted for 2 to 3 years for criticizing the Spanish State and the real institutions [13]. Finally, seven activists of the Defense Committees of the Republic have been accused of "rebellion" and "terrorism" by the road cuts and the lifting of barriers to the tolls carried out during this Easter, which is a violation of the Freedoms of expression and manifestation and a balanization of the term "terrorism" [14]. The Catalan Ombudsman has already addressed the European Commissioner for Human Rights and rapporteurs of the United Nations for the lack of proportion in these accusations [15].

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Agnes N

Images. Top-left: close to 20 European members of European Parliament gathered at the entrance of the European Parliament. Bottom-left: police charge against a woman during the 1st of October. Right: demonstration under the motto "Europe wake up" in Brusels during December 2017

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