Catalan Government and pardoned prisoners agree to continue working for self-determination and amnesty

Aragonès holds institutional reception for freed political prisoners at Generalitat

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Institutional reception of those pardoned at the Palau de la Generalitat

After more than a thousand days in prison, the Government of the Generalitat has received with all the institutional pomp the nine pro-independence leaders pardoned last Wednesday by the Spanish government. When a few minutes past four o'clock in the afternoon, the former Catalan Ministers, the former parliamentary Speaker Carme Forcadell, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart have arrived together to the Plaça Sant Jaume to stage their return to public life after more than three years of deprivation of liberty. President Pere Aragonès and vice president Jordi Puigneró have accompanied them inside the Palace for a symbolic picture to be taken: the entire current government en bloc, with the parliamentary bureau and the Speaker, Laura Borràs, sitting on one side of the Gothic gallery in front of which was the government in power until the referendum, along with Cuixart, Sànchez and Forcadell. "Welcome back, welcome home. Today we are carrying out an act of justice", vice-president Puigneró began.

President Aragonès, in the same line, has wanted to acknowledge the work of prisoners and exiles -leaving a row of empty chairs highlighting their absence- for having led the 2017 referendum. He stressed that he will continue to demand self-determination and amnesty from the State , adding that they will stubbornly seek "to make the independence of Catalonia possible".

Without references to the meeting planned for tomorrow with the Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, Aragonès has preferred to take aim at the Court of Auditors: he has asked for an end to the "persecution" and denounced that part of the pardoned former ministers who have sat this Monday at the Gothic gallery have an appointment tomorrow in Madrid for the Generalitat's external action and their accounting responsibility for the referendum of 2017.

Forcadell, prisoner representative

While the President and Vice President spoke in name of the government, it was the former parliamentary Speaker Carme Forcadell who spoke in name of the prisoners. She said they will work for the return of the exiles and presented the pardons as a victory of independence because they would not have been possible without the "persistence" of sovereigntist citizens, the triumphs in exile and the electoral victories by the parties in favour of the republic.