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Long prison sentences for Catalan separatists spark massive protests

12 8 0
16.10.2019

Analysis. The harshest sentence was handed out to the former Catalan vice president and political leader of Esquerra Republicana, Oriol Junqueras: 13 years in prison. The defense teams have stated that their aim is to appeal the sentences before the European Court of Human Rights.

written by Luca Tancredi Barone

Topic European Union

BARCELONA

October 16, 2019

“Vengeance”—this is the word most often used by separatist politicians to describe the harsh sentences handed down Monday by the judges of the Spanish Supreme Court against the 12 pro-independence leaders who organized an illegal referendum in 2017. The nine, who have been in preventive detention for two years, were handed a total of almost 100 years in prison, while the other three, who had not been arrested, were convicted of mere “disobedience” and not sentenced to prison terms.

The crime of which the nine have been convicted is sedición: sedition, equivalent to a crime against public order, a category introduced to condemn social unrest back when there was no recognized right to protest. They were acquitted, however, of the charge of “rebellion” (something that would apply in case of a coup). In essence, they have been convicted for organizing public protests that have been generally peaceful.

Despite this ominous warning for anyone who wants to manifest their dissent in Spain from now on, and despite the disproportionate jail terms, the ruling is still a blow against the Rajoy government, the PP, Ciudadanos, not to mention Vox (who were even allowed to take an active part in the trial), and even against Judge Llarena. The Supreme Court........

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