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September 24, 2019

Communiqué in respect of the arrest of nine independence activists

The Council condemns last Monday’s arrests, accuses the Spanish State of fabricating a narrative based on a violence that didn’t exist and proposes a firm democratic response to this repressive State.

Following yesterday’s judicial, police and media operation in Catalonia against independence activists that led to the arrest of nine people accused of terrorism, rebellion and sedition by the prosecutors of the Audiencia Nacional, the Council for the Republic declares the following:

1. The imminent commemoration of the second anniversary of the 1 October Independence referendum, and publication of the sentences by the specious trial of the Catalan political prisoners, has provoked a new wave of repression against the freedoms of the citizens of our country. Once more, we see civil rights being suspended in Catalonia and citizens confronted with the brutality and arbitrary powers of the state with no proper guarantees.

2. We strenuously reject this judicial and police montage against innocent individuals, and express our maximum solidarity with the those arrested and their friends and families.

3. It is clear that the aim of the operation is, on the one hand, to intimidate the citizens of Catalonia as they mobilise to denounce and protest against what will surely be outrageous sentences and, on the other, to create a narrative of violence associated with a radically democratic and peaceful political movement like the national liberation movement of Catalonia.

4. We cannot ignore the pre-election scenario in the Spanish state when assessing this operation. The State is attempting to criminalise the legitimate political options of the majority of Catalans before Spanish public opinion in order to extract electoral advantage in the 10 November general elections.

5. We understand that the only way to end these arbitrary arrests and the various forms of repression the Spanish State is implementing against Catalan society is a firm democratic response to the Spanish State and consequently we reaffirm our support for the route map approved and published by the Council on14 September: to carry out the mandate of 1 October and establish the Catalan Republic.