Opinion 29/01/2021

Antoni Bassas' analysis: 'Political prisoners enter the campaign'

Pedro Sánchez is trying to defeat the independence movement at the polls by taking advantage of the state's repression and the internal division of the independence movement

2 min
Political prisoners

The political prisoners are leaving prison again today, after yesterday they received the open prison regime again . It was granted by the Ministry of Justice of the Generalitat, and it will allow them to go out on the streets during the day but will have to return at night to sleep in prison from Monday to Thursday. The only one who will not leave prison is president Forcadell, because there is an outbreak of coronavirus in the prison of Wad-Ras.

The secretariat of penal measures considers that the prisoners have already served a quarter of the sentence or are about to do so, a fact that entitles them to ordinary permits.

Everyone is aware that the granting of the open regime has been made on the same day that the election campaign begins. However, we must remember that the last time that the Generalitat authorized this regime was already six months ago, a period that the Servei de Classificació (the body in charge of managing prison regimes) considers sufficient time for the confirmation of a positive evolution of the inmate (this is what we've come to), according to prison regulations.

The Minister Dolors Bassa has been the first to leave, she has left happy, has recalled that the open prison regime means freedom and has asked people to go to vote.

The foreseeable script from now on seems to be already written: political prisoners will participate in campaign events, record messages, give interviews and, in this context, the Prosecutor's Office will appeal the regime and, sooner rather than later, the prisoners will return to prison.

The presence of political prisoners in the campaign, just like the appearances of exiles on a screen, are a reminder that these elections are still about the unresolved political and economic conflict between Catalonia and Spain, and that the wounds of October 2017 are not healed yet. It is clear that the pandemic has changed the landscape, but it has not entirely replaced it, and if any argument can drive people to the polls in Catalonia it is their position on the Catalonia-Spain debate - especially at a time when Pedro Sánchez is trying to defeat the independence movement at the ballot boxes by taking advantage of the resources given to him by state repression and the internal division of independentism. However, it could also be that the tone of the pro-independence parties, the rhetoric, or the epic no longer fit in these times of deaths and poverty due to a virus. Never as in these elections can fine-tuning the message make the difference.

Our recognition for those who work on the front line, a thought for those who suffer, for political prisoners, for exiles, and may we have a good day.

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