05/12/2020

Sadism

2 min
Carme Forcadell, saludant els concentrats a les portes de la presó de Wad-Ras, a Barcelona

BarcelonaThe decision of the Supreme Court to revoke Catalan political prisoners' parole was foreseeable, but this does not mean that we should not denounce the injustice and the cruelty that this entails for people who have already been sentenced to very high penalties for a crime, sedition, which does not exist in many countries around us and which is strongly questioned by many jurists. Carme Forcadell and Dolors Bassa had to be admitted last night to their respective prisons in images that outrage a social majority in Catalonia and that are in effect a second prison sentence.

Because what the Supreme Court, and especially the president of the second chamber, Manuel Marchena, does not understand is that his decision justly confirms that this is a political trial, and that therefore the condemned are political prisoners. The tone of the proceedings, their disregard for the opinions of the prison surveillance judges, who, we must remember, are specialists in the enforcement of sentences, and their criticism of the Department of Justice are clear proof that this is a case of revenge, a desperate attempt to defend a sentence which, as well as containing a story which was refuted by the acquittal of the Major Trapero by the Audiencia Nacional, would never have been handed down in neighbouring Europe and will one day be reviewed by European judges.

For this reason, the orders appear to be more of a self-justification than a technical text on the enforcement of sentences. It is stated that the condemned "dynamited the bases of coexistence by promoting a tumultuous uprising with the aim of demonstrating that the resolutions of the Constitutional Court and the judges based in Catalonia were no longer enforceable". How is it decided who is dynamiting the bases of coexistence? Where was there an "uprising"? And even less so "tumultuous". And finally: would a concentration to prevent an eviction also constitute the crime of sedition? The judge says that the independence ideology is not being pursued, but it is evident that it is because otherwise the prisons would be full of activists from many other causes.

This week we have seen how the Hong Kong government has sentenced the leaders of the pro-democracy protests to 13 months in prison for actions perfectly comparable to the role played by Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez. 13 months compared to 9 years in prison! This comparison should make the Spanish democrats ashamed.

The attitude of the Supreme Court shows that the politicisation of justice and its ultraconservative and nationalist bias are today the greatest problem of Spanish democracy. The government of Sánchez and Iglesias should take good note and get to work, either with pardons, with the revision of the Penal Code (to eliminate the crime of sedition or to condition it to the use of weapons) or with the most effective way of all: an amnesty law. This is the only way to take steps to normalise political life and to bring the political conflict to the negotiating table.

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