May 11, 2021

The Pen of the US warns about freedom of expression in Catalonia | Culture

The Pen of the US warns about freedom of expression in Catalonia | Culture

An article published on Friday on the website of the Pen Club of the US (Pen America) warns that freedom of expression in Catalonia is in danger, in line with the theses of Catalan pro-independence circles. The text, signed by Alyssa Edling, a young graduate who works at the Pen in Washington, and Thomas Melia, director of the entity in that city, is titled A disturbing trend: freedom of expression under fire in Catalonia, and considers that "the reaction of the Spanish authorities against the pro-independence discourse is part of a wider and more worrisome tendency to contract the space for dissenting opinions in Spain".

The text says that Pen America is not positioned on the merits of the Catalan search for independence, but that "the strong hand to interrupt the vote and the persecution of its organizers, represent an unacceptable restriction on the freedom of peaceful expression on the part of a substantial sector of the population ".

The article, which refers to gag law and it mentions the cases of rapper Valtonyc, the puppeteers of Madrid and the tweeter Cassandra Vera, is significantly in line with the pro-independence arguments. In fact, it uses part of the reasoning expressed in the report Freedom of expression and hate speech in the Spanish State, prepared by Pen Catalán and disseminated to the other organizations of the Pen to serve as the basis for the debate "that allows adopting a common position that guarantees the legitimate exercise of freedom of expression". The report, which analyzes "the current state of freedom of expression in Spain" is published on the website of the Catalan Pen website, which groups together half a thousand writers in the Catalan language, and also on the Pen International website (with headquarters in London), the mother house The executive director of Pen International is the Catalan author of the independence movement Carles Torner, who on his website (with a yellow ribbon) was among the first to retweet the article.

From the Pen Catalonia yesterday the publication of the text of the "powerful" Pen America was valued with enthusiasm. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Generalitat, Alfred Bosch, is among those who have disseminated it immediately.

According to the just published Democracy Index 2018 from the influential weekly The Economist, Spain, a "full democracy", ranks 19th in the ranking, ahead of France or Italy.


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