No one in the European Union will be able to wash their hands of it and say that they did not know
Feb 9, 2019 —
No one in the European Union will be able to wash their hands of it and say that they did not know. No one in the European Union will be able to ignore how Spain is violating the European Convention on Human Rights and the two major United Nations human rights pacts. No one in the European Union can deny that the facts in the following letter from the Mayor of Barcelona to Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk and Antonio Tajani are true (Source):
«Mayor of Barcelona
7 February 2019
Mr Jean-Claude Juncker
As Mayor of Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, I am writing to convey my concern as well as that of the institution I represent, regarding the trial of twelve pro-indepencence leaders which is due to start on 12 February.
This is an anomalous situation in Europe, given the political condition ot those on trial —members of parliament, ministers form the previous Catalan government and civil society leaders— and the serious crimes which they stand accused of — rebellion and sedition— carrying prison sentences of upt to 74 years. Additionally, there is the case of a Spanish extreme right party could be fraudulently using the private prosecution in the trial to spread ist ideology of hatred and obtain electoral gains.
Although I am not an independence supporter, nor do I share many of the decisions of the previous Catalan government, I believe that this trial is a political fiasco, placing the space for dialogue and negotiation in danger and entrusting an eminently political problem to be dealt with by the courts. Moreover, if the trial ends in guilty verdicts and sentences it will not help to reassess Catalonia’s position within Spain, but it will instead serve to exacerbate division and hamper the construction of a negotiated solution.
Furthermore, I believe that the pre-trial incarceration violates the rights of the accused to prepare an effective defence, and the crimes they are accused of are completely disproportionate, as deemed by various international human rights organisations to commit any violence, as some European State law courts have acknowledged. As such, we cannot ignore the fact that we are faced with a political conflict, and that the best way to address this is by strengthening dialogue instigated recently.
I would also like to take this opportunity to present you with the Institutional Declaration which was approved by the majority of political forces of Barcelona City Council, demanding a fair and impartial trial with full guarantees, calling for the accused to be released from custody so that they can prepare their defence, and to aid the task of international observers.
Lastly, I would like to inform you that I have invited a group of memers from the European Parliament to follow the trial on 20 February. This is not merely an internal affair on the Spanish State. The consequences of this trial are of interest to European institutions as a whole, and will have repercussions both on political stability —currently under threat from the new rise of xenophobic populism— and the full recognition of human rights and democratic freedoms which, for over 62 years, have been a beacon guiding the way for the construction of the European Union.
Ada Colau Ballano
Pl. de Sant Jaume, 1
Tel. + 34 932 914 700
Fax +34 933 170 139
The same letter was also sent to the following two presidents:
«Mr Antonio Tajani
Mr Donald Tusk
Everyone can read the text of the European Convention on Human Rights and the two major United Nations pacts on human rights and judge for themselves which human rights Spain has violated and is violating on the Catalan issue. Catalonia's right to self-determination is guaranteed by the Spanish Constitution. Spain's government and Spanish courts continue to disregard this and disregard the binding nature of the international law enshrined in the Spanish Constitution.
European Convention on Human Rights:
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR):
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR):
Spain is violating human rights in an intolerable way! And Europe is silent and watching!
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