A year after their detention in Spain, the Jordis should be released

A year after Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart were remanded in custody, Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International Deputy Director for Europe said:

"There is no justification for keeping Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart in pre-trial detention and we reiterate our call for their immediate release. Amnesty International believes their continued detention constitutes a disproportionate restriction on their rights to free speech and peaceful assembly."

There is no justification for keeping Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart in pre-trial detention and we reiterate our call for their immediate release
Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International

Recently, the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court rejected two petitions for the release of Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez. The Constitutional Court has also refused on at least three occasions to provisionally suspend the detention of Jordi Sánchez.

"Instead of taking the opportunity to end the detention of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, the judicial authorities have perpetuated this injustice," said Fotis Filippou.

Their continued detention constitutes a disproportionate restriction on their rights to free speech and peaceful assembly
Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International

According to the information available to Amnesty International, the charges against the two men are unfounded and must therefore be dropped. If it can be shown that they called on demonstrators to prevent police from carrying out a lawful operation, this could constitute a prosecutable public order offence. But accusing them of such serious crimes as rebellion or sedition and detaining them for a year is disproportionate and an excessive restriction of their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

 

Background

Amnesty International has called for the immediate release of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart since it first learned of their detention.

On 16 October 2017, the National Court issued an order for the pre-trial detention of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, the then presidents, respectively, of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural, on charges of sedition. Subsequently, on 24 November 2017, their cases were combined with another lawsuit (Extraordinary Case No. 20907/2017) and brought before the Supreme Court. 

On 21 March 2018, following the examination by the investigating judge, the two men were charged with rebellion. In the indictment they are accused of responsibility for participation in the referendum held on 1 October in Catalonia, despite the Constitutional Court decision suspending the referendum law, and of calling on people to gather in front of government buildings on 20 and 21 September 2017 in order to prevent police from carrying out a lawful operation ordered by a Barcelona court to search several government buildings.