Preliminary extradition hearing for Clara Ponsatí in Edinburgh

Tomorrow morning (Thu 12 April 2018) here in Scotland at the Sheriff Court in Edinburgh there will be a preliminary hearing for Spain’s request to extradite Professor Clara Ponsatí under the European Arrest Warrant. The Catalan Defence Committee Scotland have organised a demonstration of support outside the court on Chambers Street from 9.15am. Independence Live will be broadcasting live from the demonstration.

The full hearing will begin next week at the same court on Wed !8 April 2018. A crowdfunding appeal for the University of St Andrews professor’s legal costs raised nearly a quarter of a million pounds, most of it pledged within hours of the appeal going live.

Watch the scenes outside the same court when Prof Clara Ponsatí was released on bail on 28 March

Fourth attempt to invest Catalan president scheduled for Friday

Photo credit: Reuters
A fourth attempt to vote on the investiture of a Catalan president following the election of 21 Dec 2017 has been timetabled for Friday with imprisoned MP Jordi Sànchez once again the proposed presidential candidate. The Catalan Parliament seeks a reversal of the Supreme Court decision on releasing Sànchez so that he can attend the parliamentary chamber for the investiture votes, particularly in light of the UN Human Rights Committee last month formally urged the Spanish authorities to respect Sànchez’s political rights.

Parliament speaker, Roger Torrent, vowed that the Catalan chamber would respond “with all political and legal force to defend the fundamental and political rights of MPs,” if the Supreme Court judge in charge of Sànchez’s case once again refuses to let the jailed activist out of prison to attend the parliamentary debate.

Large demonstration in Barcelona will mark six months imprisonment for the two Jordis

Photo credit: ACN
The Espai Democràcia i Convivència (Democracy and Coexistence Space) will host a major demonstration in Barcelona next Sunday 15 April 2018, to mark six months of imprisonment for the President of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, and until recently President of the Catalan National Assembly, Jordi Sànchez. Under the slogan

For rights and freedoms, for democracy and cohesion, we want you home!

the march will start at 12.30pm in the Plaça d’Espanya finishing up with a rally in the Jardins de les Tres Xemeneies. 100s of coaches are already confirmed to arrive from all over the country.

The motto refers to the rejection of the imprisonment of politicians, forced exile and repression. The organisers are seeking a much broader manifestation than those that have been done so far, harking back to the spirit of the 2010 manifestation (10-J) in defense of the Statute of Autonomy.

The many entities making up the Espai Democràcia i Convivència, worried about the violation of fundamental rights and democratic freedoms, call on citizens to participate in the demonstration to provide a unitary response in defense of Catalan institutions, fundamental rights, social cohesion, the right of the Catalan people to decide their political future and democracy.

Initially organised by a dozen associations, the Espai Democràcia i Convivència has already attracted up to one hundred more. These, which reject the imprisonment of Catalan politicians and the violation of human rights, have joined forces to defend democracy and coexistence in “worrying” and “exceptional” moments. That is why they have decided to join and promote actions to reverse the situation, as a continuation of the “Board for Democracy“.

Organisations behind the Espai Democràcia i Convivència include:

  • Association of Actors and Professional Directors of Catalonia (AADPC)
  • Catalan National Assembly (ANC)
  • National Council of Youth of Catalonia (CNJC)
  • CCOO of Catalonia
  • Confederation of Neighborhood Associations of Catalonia (CONFAVC)
  • Federation of Associations of Parents and Mothers of Catalonia (FAPAC)
  • for global justice
  • Òmnium Cultural
  • Unió de Federacions Esportives de Catalunya (UFEC)
  • Unió de Pagesos
  • and UGT de Catalunya

Sunday 15 April is also the Day of Can Jorba, traditionally celebrated at noon in Barcelona with the performance of Castell groups. To accommodate the demonstration and to facilitate the attendance of the castellers, this year the Can Jorba celebration will start at 4.30 pm . The Castellers of Barcelona will perform at the Portal de l’Àngel accompanied by the invited groups: the Minyons of Terrassa, the Xicots de Vilafranca and the Castellers de Sant Cugat.

CDR activist arrested on “terrorism” charges

There has been a further escalation in the “judicialization” of the political crisis in Catalonia with “terrorism” now included in the charges against a grassroots activist arrested yesterday.

A few days ago the Spanish National Court warned that it would prosecute members of the many decentralised Committees for the Defense of the Republic (CDRs) in the wake of their recent actions of non-violent civil disobedience in Catalonia, which have caused disruption on some major roads and at toll booths. Yesterday a 34-year old woman and CDR activist, Tamara Carrasco, was arrested by Guardia Civil in Viladecans, a town near Barcelona airport as part of “Operation Maluc”.

The woman was detained overnight in the jails of the Civil Guard in Tres Cantos (Madrid) without any incommunicado detention measures and will appear on Thursday before a National Court judge on charges of rebellion and terrorism. An operation to arrest a second CDR activist in nearby municipality of Esplugues failed to locate their target and brought more than 500 local people out onto the streets in support of the CDR.

Condemnation of the “terrorism” charges has been wide ranging.

German court rejects Puigdemont rebellion charge

Carles Puigdemont has been freed from custody in Germany today and the court in Schleswig-Holstein determined that the charge of violent rebellion was inadmissible in his case. The closest comparable crime to rebellion in Germany is “high treason”, but the court determined that this was not applicable because the requirement of violence was not met.

Only the petition for the crime of embezzlement can now be considered and some clarification on that charge has been requested. If Puigdemont were to be extradited by German judiciary, he could only be tried in Spain for embezzlement and not rebellion.

Puigdemont has been released on bail with a bond of €75,000.

Puigdemont remains in prison in Germany

German judges have ordered Catalonia’s 130th president, Carles Puigdemont, to remain in custody in the northern German town of Neumünster as their courts decide on Spain’s extradition request. They have 60 days to make a decision.

Although rebellion, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in jail in Spain, is not a crime under German law, the German prosecutor has argued that the rebellion charge “contains in essence the accusation of calling an unconstitutional referendum despite violent riots that could be expected” matching the German charge of “treason”. “Word-for-word conformance between the German and Spanish criminal codes is thus not legally required,” the prosecutor’s statement said. Continue reading Puigdemont remains in prison in Germany