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.
Centre Penitenciari Lledoners
C-55, km 37
08250 Sant Joan de Vilatorrada
Maria Carme Forcadell
Centre Penitenciari Puig de les Basses
Raval disseminat, 53
We will update the other three addresses if and when their transfers are underway.
A series of events in Edinburgh, called “III Anti-Repression Forum” and organised by Edinburgh in Protest, will take place tomorrow (Sat 24 Feb 2018) in Edinburgh and will focus mostly on state repression in Spain and Catalonia. Spanish rapper, Valtonyc, was to appear at the forum, both as a speaker at the daytime discussion and also headlining the benefit gig in the evening at Edinburgh’s Henry Cellars bar.
The Yes Movement has been a transformational experience for all of us whether we be long time activists or new to politics.
We have tremendous power and reach when we work together. That is why we are asking for your help to demonstrate our support for the Catalan independence activists now political prisoners in Spain.
We are asking you to join us in writing on a postcard or a letter to the prisoners. A postage stamp to Spain will cost you £1.17.
We cannot all take part in marches or attend big events and meetings but this is something we can all do together, to make a difference and to demonstrate our solidarity with the People of Catalonia. They stood by us in 2014 let us not forget them.