Transfer of political prisoners to Catalan prisons: six underway, three pending

Nine Catalan political prisoners have been interned in Madrid prisons for many months before any trial and without any credible evidence of committing the crimes they are charged with (violent rebellion, sedition, misuse of public funds).

After many requests to be transferred to prisons in Catalonia, six of the prisoners (Jordi Cuixart, Jordi Sànchez, Oriol Junqueras, Dolors Bassa, Maria Carme Forcadell and Raül Romeva) are finally moving closer to their families, while the transfer processes for the remaining three (Joaquim Forn, Josep Rull and Jordi Turull) still await responses from the magistrate.

Spain is unusual in comparison to other countries in that this precautionary pre-trial internment can be protracted over a very long period, with no onus on the state to expedite the proceedings while innocent people have been deprived of their liberty. The trial for charges relating to the 1 Oct 2017 referendum in Catalonia is not expected to even begin until 2019, possibly waiting till after elections in May 2019. Prisoners held in precautionary detention before trial have a right under Spanish law to be located in a prison of their choice, so these long overdue transfers should be viewed in terms of legal compliance rather than a concession or “goodwill gesture”. Their continued imprisonment remains an act of repression, a punitive act against the main political and civil elements of the the Catalan independence movement.

They should all be HOME, not locked up CLOSE TO HOME.

New addresses for the six transfers underway are as follows.

  • Jordi Cuixart
  • Jordi Sànchez
  • Oriol Junqueras
  • Raül Romeva
Centre Penitenciari Lledoners
C-55, km 37
08250 Sant Joan de Vilatorrada
Barcelona, Spain
  • Dolors Bassa
  • Maria Carme Forcadell
Centre Penitenciari Puig de les Basses
Raval disseminat, 53
17600 Figueres
Girona, Spain

We will update the other three addresses if and when their transfers are underway.

Letter received from Joaquim Forn

We send our letters and cards to the prisoners in Madrid as a simple act of support and solidarity, with no expectation of receiving replies, as the prisoners may receive hundreds of letters and have limited resources for stamps especially for international mail. I was therefore gobsmacked yesterday (election day 21 December of all days) to receive a letter from the prison in Estremera from Joaquim Forn.

Estremera, 2 Dec 2017

Dear Gerry,

Thank you very much for your kind words, your good wishes and solidarity.

Thanks for all you are doing in order to make our situation known all around the world.

It’s really important for us that the repression we are suffering is worldwidely known.

Specially because it is one EU Member State which is exercising it in front of the silence of the other states.

Ours is a peaceful fight for democracy and the answer of the state structures is absolutely oversized.

Once again, thanks a lot for your help.

Sincerely yours,

Joaquim Forn