Politics 29/04/2021

More than 250 MEPs and MPs from all over the world call on the Spanish government to grant amnesty to political prisoners and exiles

They denounce that a "solution to the conflict" is not possible with "pro-independence leaders in jail or in exile"

ARA
2 min
Catalan MEPs with Daly at the front.jpg

BarcelonaMore than 250 MEPs and MPs from around the world have signed a letter to the Spanish government demanding "a political solution to the Catalan conflict" and amnesty for prisoners and exiles. The letter was presented this Thursday at the European Parliament by MEP Clare Daly, accompanied by other members of the EU-Catalonia Dialogue platform and with the presence of Carles Puigdemont, Clara Ponsatí, Toni Comín, Diana Riba and Jordi Solé.

Daly has called on the Spanish government to make "all the necessary legal and institutional changes" to grant amnesty to Catalan prisoners and exiles. In the letter, they stress that it is not possible to move towards "a normalisation" of the situation in Catalonia with "pro-independence leaders in prison and in exile". In addition, they also state that it is necessary to "stop the persecution of pro-independence supporters who still have open legal cases".

The letter is addressed to the Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, and the third vice president and Minister of Labour and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, and urges them to take "courageous steps" to reach a resolution of the conflict "by democratic means". The text reminds Sánchez that the results of the Catalan parliamentary elections demonstrated the remarkable "resistance" of the independence movement, with 52% of the votes for secessionist parties. It also highlights that Amnesty International, after reviewing the sentence and the trial of the Independence bid, determined that the interpretation of the crime of sedition by the Supreme Court is contrary to principles of legality and involves imposing disproportionate restrictions.

Among the members who have signed the letter are 200 MPs from around the world and about fifty MEPs. The European parliamentary group with the largest number of signatories to the letter has been the Greens-EFA, which includes ERC and En Comú, with a total of 27 MEPs. There are also members of the United Left, the Socialists, the liberals of Renew Europe and the European Conservatives and Reformists. There are also British Labour, Sinn Féin, the French party Libertés and Territoires, the Scottish SNP, the Flemish NVA, the Bloc Québécois, the Portuguese Bloco de Esquerda and the Kurdish PKK party, among others.

This new international support comes a month after the European Parliament withdrew immunity to Puigdemont by 400 votes in favor, 248 against and 45 abstentions, and from Comín and Ponsatí by 404 votes in favor, 247 against and 42 abstentions. Thus, the European Parliament decided to grant the request to the Spanish Supreme Court and withdraw immunity to the three Junts MEPs so that the judicial process can continue in Belgium and Scotland for their extraditions.

The parliamentary majority in favour of withdrawing immunity was taken for granted, but the opposing votes slightly exceeded the expected figures, with some cracks in the ranks of popular, socialist and liberal parties. The Greens and the European Left groups were clearly against.

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