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May 31, 2019

Call to mobilization. Let’s fill Strasbourg

The Council for the Catalan Republic calls for a mobilization on July 2nd, in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, to organise a mass demonstration in support of democracy and freedom for political prisoners. We call upon the European community institutions to act to stop human rights violations in Spain, and we demand respect for the European election results of May 26th.

Call to mobilization.

  • We demand that the Spanish State complies with the resolution of the Working Group of Arbitrary Detentions of the UN Human Rights Council and releases Catalan political prisoners.
  • We call on the European Parliament not to exclude the 3 Catalan MEPs (Puigdemont, Comín and Junqueras).
  • We say NO to the democratic degradation of Europe!

 

On Wednesday, May 29th, the Working Group of Arbitrary Detentions of the UN Human Rights Council published the resolution which obliges the release of Catalan political prisoners. Despite the resolution, the Supreme Court, the Office of the Public Prosecutor and the Government of Pedro Sánchez, have allowed the farce trial to continue. Each day this situation continues and the prisoners are not home, is one more day that the Spanish State is acting as a criminal state.

On the same day, May 29th, we witnessed an operation to influence the European institutions to prevent MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Oriol Junqueras and Antoni Comín from taking their seats. This action is a flagrant violation of the most basic principles of democracy, and a threat to the European model based on respect for the decisions and will of its citizens.

In the European elections in Catalonia, the Coalitions Junts per Catalunya-Lliures per Europa and Ara Republica, (both committed to the right to self-determination of Catalonia and the Catalan Republic from a non-violent perspective), obtained more than 50% of the vote.   Junts per Catalunya-Lliures per Europa is a coalition of pro-indy parties, whose leader is Carles Puigdemont.  Politically liberals, they belonged to the ALDE group in the European Parliament until recently.    Human rights defenders, they consistently report civil and human rights vulnerations in Catalonia by the Spanish Government.  Ara República is a coalition of  three pro-indy parties of three non-state nations in the Spanish territory (Catalonia, Basque Country and Galicia).  Politically in the left wing, they have been part of the Greens Party at the European Parliament.  These three parties in the Ara República coalition are:  EH Bildu (Basque Country), BNB (Galicia) and ERC (Catalonia).    ERC (Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya) defends the right to self-determination in a non-violent manner.  One of its historical leaders was Lluís Companys.  He, also a President of  Catalonia’s Government (called “Generalitat”), fled into exile during the Spanish Civil War.  He was extradited to Spain by Nazi German authorities, where he was imprisoned, kept in solitary confinement, tortured and beaten and finally executed by a Franco firing squad on October 15th 1940.

Given the circumstances, crossing the 50% polling mark in Catalonia, is an exceptional result obtained in a fair and free election that  could end up having no practical effect if the attempt of the Spanish state to manipulate European institutions thrives. In particular, the rights of 2,282,895 European citizens who voted for candidates Puigdemont, Junqueras and Comín to be their representatives in Parliament are at risk. To date, President Tajani and his Secretary General have been the guardians of the interests of some Spanish political parties and have neglected their institutional responsibility of neutrality and fair play. They have gone hand in hand with the wishes of political parties, which do not represent the majority of the population of Catalonia expressed in the polls, showing an improper behaviour for institutional representatives.

The rights’ violation of these nearly 2.3 million European citizens would be a serious and dangerous precedent that would undermine the credibility of the European Parliament. The European parliament would be incapable of guaranteeing respect for fundamental rights within the institution itself and, therefore, incapable to represent all European citizens, as determined by the Lisbon Treaty. We note that, in accordance with the reforms introduced by this treaty, in article 14.2 , the Parliament is composed of  the  “direct representatives of the Union citizens” rather than “representatives of the citizens of the Member State ” as previously expressed in the Treaty.

Facing this serious threat of democratic regression in Europe, we call on European citizens to express their protest and demand respect for their political rights in Strasbourg on July 2nd, the day of the inaugural plenary Session of the newly elected European Parliament.

The Council for the Republic will join social and political entities that support this mobilization in a call for solidarity to the European civil and political entities that are concerned about people’s rights and democracy in Europe.

Brussels, May 31, 2019