Welsh MEP condemns ‘deeply distressing’ prison sentences for Catalan independence leaders

Picture by Jordi Payà (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A Welsh MEP has condemned the “extraordinarily long” prison sentences handed out to Catalan political leaders for their role in the October 2017 referendum and the independence declaration that followed it.

Spain’s Supreme Court on Monday sentenced the nine Catalan leaders to prison terms ranging from nine to 13 years for sedition and misuse of public funds.

Former Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras received the longest sentence of 13 years in jail. He served as the main defendant after the former President, Carles Puigdemont, managed to escape to Belgium.

Former parliamentary speaker Carme Forcadell was handed 11 years and six months in jail, while two Catalan civic leaders, Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, were sentenced to nine years prison.

Only three of the 12 leaders, who faced lesser charges, escaped jail time and were handed a fine.

 

Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans, speaking alongside leader Adam Price AM and Chair of the APPG on Catalonia Hywel Williams MP, said:

“We are deeply distressed by the extraordinarily long prison sentences given to Catalan political prisoners this morning.

“They were the political leaders of the campaign for Catalan independence, but their movement was driven by ordinary Catalans who voted for independence in their millions.

“The Spanish state may consider that to have been sedition, but history will show that all they are guilty of is seeking their nation’s freedom, which is their inalienable right.

“Adam Price and Jill Evans had the privilege of visiting Oriol Junqueras and Raül Romeva in prison earlier this year. Oriol’s parting words to them were: ‘We’ll meet again as free people and as free peoples’.

“His words have a particular poignancy today, but we remain steadfastly of the belief that Oriol and his compatriots will one day see a free Catalonia – and an independent Wales will stand alongside them.”

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Jonathan EdwardsSiânPenderynJonathan GammondDr John Ball Recent comment authors
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pete
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pete

She would say that wouldn’t she she’s a seperatist herself…

Dr John Ball
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Dr John Ball

The issue is not whether Jillian Evans is a separatist or indeed if she is not. The events in Spain are disturbing because Spain is a democracy and a member of the European Union, for which democracy is a fundamental, non-negotiable cornerstone. The government of Catalonia was entitled to seek the views of its people through the democratic means of a referendum – broken up with violence not acceptable in a democracy. The subsequent declaration of independence was just that – a declaration; an invitation to both peoples, Catalonian and Spanish, to sit down and consider the consequences; that’s the… Read more »

Penderyn
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Penderyn

better being in favour of self rule than supporting UK imperialism

Jonathan Gammond
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Jonathan Gammond

Unfortunately 1970s Spain agreed to a constitution that was specifically designed not to allow any part of the state to secede. It was a product of Spain’s history, but the consequences forty years or more are truly tragic, both for Catalonia and for Spain in general. The Spanish government’s approach has been almost a set text on how to encourage ‘separatism’.

Penderyn
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Penderyn

Spain will get burned at the next economic crisis

Siân
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Siân

Terrible that these politicians are treated so harshly for running an election – a non violent act. Does not bode well for a peaceful and unified future for Spain. Very sad and worrying.

Jonathan Edwards
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Jonathan Edwards

The Catalan experience is bad, but it is not a reason for Wales not try for Indy, and is not a reason to dislike the EU. The UK has said many times (and it is law) that Wales can secede if it wants. The problem is – have the Welsh got the guts to secede? Yes the EU will side with centralist Madrid. To start with, under pressure from London and Paris. But Wales has many many allies among the small EU States. Or would have if we added more diplomats to the little unit in Cardiff.