Amnesty International again includes Cuixart and Sànchez in human rights report

The organisation has already called several times for their freedom and considered the Supreme Court's sentence "disproportionate"

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Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez in an archive picture

Amnesty International continues to denounce that the secretary general of Junts and former leader of the Assemblea, Jordi Sànchez, and the president of Òmnium, Jordi Cuixart, are deprived of their freedom three years and five months after their imprisonment. This time the organisation has highlighted their situation in the annual report on human rights in the world. In the section on Spain, Amnesty warns that Sànchez and Cuixart "were still in prison" at the end of 2020 after being found guilty "of sedition in connection with the 2017 demonstrations and independence referendum." Without going into assessments, the organisation recalls the situation of the leaders of the sovereignist entities in the section that deals with freedom of expression and assembly in the Spanish state.

This is the third consecutive annual report by Amnesty Internation (AI) that refers to Sànchez and Cuixart. In the 2019 report, the organisation used the same words as this year, and thus denounced their imprisonment. In contrast, in the 2018 report Amnesty accused "some Spanish authorities" of "disproportionately" restricting the right to freedom of expression and assembly after suspending the 2017 Catalan referendum law. In the same document, the organisation stressed that Sànchez and Cuixart were arrested and charged with sedition, a crime they defined as very "general". In fact, last week the United States also included references on the Catalan political prisoners in its report on the state of human rights in the world, reviewing all the times that supranational organisations -among which Amnesty- have condemned their situation.

After appearing in the 2020 report, Cuixart criticised in a post on his Twitter account that "the powers of the state" have been "incapable of listening to the international community." "How do they want us to regret anything?" he has wondered, to then conclude that they cannot "give up the fight": "For this reason, we continue and we will continue". For the vice president of the entity, Marcel Mauri, the report denotes "the serious violation of human rights suffered by Jordi Cuixart".

Amnesty has called several times for the freedom of the 'Jordis'

Despite the fact that in the report Amnesty only denounces the situation of imprisonment of Cuixart and Sànchez, the organisation has already called several times for their "immediate" freedom. It did so in October 2017, a few days after they were arrested, and condemned the sedition charges and pre-trial detention as "excessive restrictions". Until the trial of the Independence bid - which the organisation followed in order to be able to assess the lawsuit in a report - Amnesty maintained this position, and it was once the Supreme Court issued the sentence that they went on to ask for the sedition conviction to be withdrawn because it was "disproportionate" and again demanded for their freedom, since prison was no longer preventive.

At the same time, Amnesty International has reiterated its call for the release of the Jordis during the anniversaries of their imprisonment and has also taken their case to the UN. Specifically, in the framework of Spain's Universal Periodic Review in the UN in 2019, the organisation urged the Spanish state to reform the crime of sedition and to release Sànchez and Cuixart

Apart from the situation of Cuixart and Sànchez, the report also denounces other human rights violations, such as those represented by the so-called gag law, and recalls that investigations are still open over excessive use of force by the police during the 2017 demonstrations in Catalonia.