The Catalan crisis is “an internal matter” that must be managed “in accordance with the Constitution.” And that includes “pardons.” This is how the European Commission expressed itself this Tuesday when asked if the pardons to those sentenced by 1-O could help to lower the temperature of the Catalan crisis.
The Assembly of the Council of Europe calls for the release of those sentenced by 1-O, reform of sedition and withdraw the Euroorders
“Our position is well known”, said the spokesman for Justice of the Community Executive, Christian Wigand: “This is an internal matter of Spain, which must be treated in accordance with its Constitution, and this also includes the question of these possible pardons “.
The declaration of the European Commission comes on the day in which the Government of Pedro Sánchez approves the granting of pardon to the nine pro-independence leaders who have been in prison for 1,328 convicted by the unilateral declaration of independence of 2017. Almost four years after their entry into jail – on November 2 of that year provisionally during the investigation of the case and later with the final conviction of the Supreme Court in October 2019 – the Government awaits the immediate departure of Lledoners of former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras; the ex-councilors Raül Romeva, Joaquim Forn, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull and Dolors Bassa; of the ex-president of the Parliament Carme Forcadell; and the leaders of ANC and Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, respectively.
A day earlier, this Monday, the Assembly of Parliamentarians of the Council of Europe also requested Monday the release of those sentenced by 1-O, in addition to reforming sedition and withdrawing the Euro-orders. In the report, titled Should politicians be prosecuted for statements made in the exercise of their mandate? prepared by Boriss Cilevičs (Latvia, SOC), the rapporteur links the situation in Turkey and Spain, although in plenary session he said that we are “equal”, but he did argue that in both countries there are “disproportionate penalties for politicians”.
The report, which has been voted in plenary session this Monday, asks the Spanish authorities “to reform the criminal provisions on rebellion and sedition so that they do not allow reinterpreting the decriminalization of the organization of an illegal referendum, intended by the Legislative when it abolished this specific offense in 2005, or result in disproportionate penalties for non-violent offenses. ”
The text also urges the Spanish authorities to “consider the possibility of pardoning or releasing from prison the Catalan politicians convicted of their role in organizing the unconstitutional referendum of October 2017 and the peaceful mass demonstrations related to it, and to consider the possibility to abandon extradition procedures against Catalan politicians living abroad and who are wanted for the same reasons. ”
Likewise, it is called to “withdraw the remaining prosecutions of the lower-ranking officials involved in the unconstitutional referendum of 2017 and refrain from sanctioning the successors of the politicians imprisoned for symbolic actions simply by expressing their solidarity with the detainees; and guarantee that the criminal provision on the misappropriation of public funds is applied in such a way that liability arises only when real and quantified losses can be established for the public budget. ”