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.
When he was remanded in custody in a Madrid prison charged with sedition on 16 October 2017, Jordi Sànchez was president of the Catalan grassroots organisation Assemblea Nacional Catalana (ANC). A month later he stood down from that role to enter an election campaign for his first time, appearing as no. 2 candidate on the Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia) list for Barcelona at the 21 December 2017 election, just below no. 1 candidate, deposed president Carles Puigdemont.
Prison authorities were apparently spooked when it was reported ahead of an election rally in Barcelona last Friday that a message from Sànchez would be broadcast, so the prisoner was closely guarded on that day in case he had got hold of a mobile phone. However he had already recorded an election message which was transmitted to the crowd at that rally and at over a hundred other gatherings. His lawyer, Jordi Pina, reported that Sànchez has suffered prison sanctions in the aftermath of this campaign broadcast. Continue reading Spanish authorities punish Jordi Sànchez for election broadcast recorded from prison – transcript in English and Catalan