Following yesterday’s hearing, the Spanish Supreme Court pronounced their verdict today: Oriol Junqueras, Vice-President of Catalonia, former Member of European Parliament and leader of EFA member party Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), is not to be released from prison. The European Free Alliance (EFA) condemns what the Spanish State calls “justice”.
“Voting is not a crime, and neither is enabling the People to freely choose their country!” says François Alfonsi, President of the European Free Alliance Political Party (EFA).
It seems inconceivable that after a history of struggles for universal suffrage throughout the European Union and the world, an organized democratic vote can still lead to imprisonment, and within the European Union. And yet, here it is happening in the 21st century, in an EU Member State!
Surely, the European Institutions, those very same who have been so vocal about the lack of democracy in Turkey and other non-EU countries, could take a look at what occurs within the European Union. Yet, they remain silent.
Oriol Junqueras is accused of rebellion and sedition, when in fact the independentist movement is a deeply peaceful one, contrary to the actions of the Spanish Police on the 1st October. The Spanish Supreme Court has refused to grant him release on the basis that there is a risk of reiteration of a clash with the Spanish State. The 27-page sentence states that “political prisoners are not an issue”.
Oriol Junqueras was re-elected on 21st December, and therefore he is the leader of an independentist party. Denying the deeply political character of his imprisonment is tantamount to an outright lie – this, then, is the true reason why Spanish State refused to commit to the outcome of the Catalan elections on 21st December, who until then had hidden behind the argument of voter turnout. Evidently, the separation of powers is non-existent in Spain!
“We demand the immediate release of Oriol Junqueras, so he may fulfill his duty as a democratically elected Member of Parliament” concludes François Alfonsi.