A Spanish Supreme Court has today handed down sentences of up to 13 years after finding the Catalan leaders guilty of sedition.
The ruling comes on the same day that a hearing at the European Court of Justice could grant Oriol Junqueras immunity now that he is an MEP.
GUE/NGL are calling for an urgent political solution, and Martin Schirdewan, group co-president says Europe can no longer look the other way and must offer to mediate immediately:
“We just learned that Oriol Junqueras MEP and the rest of the Catalan leaders held in pre-trial detention have been condemned to prison sentences of between nine and 13 years.”
“Democracy and dialogue are the only way forward. Those who reject such a call must be challenged politically and also change their stance when fundamental, democratic and civil rights are jeopardised”.
Basque MEP Pernando Barrena added:
“This sentence is blatantly disproportionate and only serves the aims of those that look forward to bringing up the Catalan case as a neverending stalemate – imposing their point of view beyond the democratic will of the people of Catalonia.”
“We therefore call on the Spanish authorities to use all the legal means necessary to release the Catalans leaders who are currently in prison as quickly as possible.”
“For as long as elected politicians are kept in jail and the democratic will of people is not fully respected, normality will not return”.