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The executive president of Catalonia, Quim Torra, challenges Spain!

Prof. Dr. Axel Schönberger

Sep 11, 2019 — 

Quim Torra, executive president of Catalonia — the legitimate president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, is still in Belgium as a politically persecuted person in Spain — has challenged the Spanish state in an internationally observed appeal of September 10, 2019 for a mass demonstration in Barcelona on September 11, 2019 and has initiated a new phase in the process of Catalonia's separation from Spain. He calls for the Catalan people's human right to self-determination, which they are entitled to directly, irrevocably and unrestrictably under binding international law and which must not be restricted or withdrawn by the Spanish constitution or by Spanish policy or justice. It is to be expected that on 11 September 2019 well over a million Catalans will demonstrate for the immediate release of the Catalan political prisoners arbitrarily detained in Madrid, as the competent body of the United Nations, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, concluded in two statements, and for the right of self-determination of the Catalan people.

The Catalans can invoke both international and Spanish law, while Spanish prosecutors and courts have seriously violated and are still violating binding international law, in particular the United Nations Human Rights covenants signed by Spain and incorporated into its legal system as binding supreme law, the Spanish Constitution, Spanish criminal law and the Spanish legal system. A criminal action against the responsible public prosecutors and judges would be compellingly necessary in a functioning constitutional state.

The conflict between Spain and Catalonia is currently reaching a new quality and a turning point. The Catalans are not lambs who will continue to tolerate a deprivation of their Human Rights, a far-reaching restriction of democracy and legal repression not justified by Spanish criminal law. The active opposition to the Spanish State and the implementation of the first measures for the medium-term separation of Catalonia from Spain and for the establishment of a Catalan Republic are beginning these days and may be delayed by Spain in the short term, but they cannot be prevented.

The speech by the Executive President of Catalonia, Quim Torra, to that part of the Catalan nation which lives in Catalonia, concludes as follows:

«The peoples form a part of the States in two ways: voluntarily or by coercion; by affiliation or by oppression. And there is only one way to dissolve this 'or', namely the exercise of the right to self-determination, a right which belongs only and exclusively to the peoples. It belongs neither to their rulers nor to anyone other than the peoples. And they have the absolute right to exercise it.

That is precisely why we say that we must exercise again and again any right that is denied us.

Catalonia will be what the Catalans want it to be. Do not doubt it at all! We are in the 21st century, even if some people are sticking to the idea of returning to the 19th or even the 18th century. And all democratic and peaceful struggles will be successful if they have the support of the majority of citizens. Nothing and nobody can stop the desire for freedom of a people of solidarity, open to the world, just and determinated, which knows that the construction of a country, of our country, can only be achieved by cutting the chains with the weapons of self-assertion, the reputation of modernity and progress and a certain civilised idea of living in the world — in a European framework, of course — of the values of our society.

Tomorrow, without fear, we will take to the streets to proclaim our unalienable and complete commitment to democracy, social, civil and political rights, always and everywhere under the flag of freedom.

Experience September 11 as you like it best! I invite you to do so in the knowledge that the fact that we are not yet free is due to the fact that we have not yet come to the end of our way. I urge you not to pause and to move forward together to make our dreams and our deepest desires a reality!

Long live Catalonia, democracy and freedom!» (Quim Torra, 10. 9. 2019).

Translation into English: Axel Schönberger

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