Amnesty International demands immediate release of jailed Catalan leaders

Amnesty International demands immediate release of jailed Catalan leaders
Photo: AFP
Amnesty International has called for the immediate release of two jailed Catalan leaders, insisting that the "vague" and "overly broad" interpretation of sedition used to jail them could have a profound effect on the right to protest in Spain.

Spain's Supreme Court on October 14th sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to lengthy jail terms over an abortive 2017 independence bid, setting off a wave of angry protests that repeatedly descended into violence.

“It is clear that the Supreme Court's interpretation of the crime of sedition was overly broad and resulted in criminalising legitimate acts of protest,” said Daniel Joloy, a senior policy advisor with Amnesty International.

The report focused on the cases of Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, two activists who were sentenced to nine years in prison for ignoring court orders by leading a protest against a police operation designed to halt the referendum.

The organization considers that the nine-year convictions for sedition handed down to Sànchez and Cuixart “violate their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.” These convictions “must be quashed,” the organisation said.

 

The other jailed separatist leaders were politicians rather than rights activists. The statement published by Amnesty International did not spell out in details the group's views on what should happen to them.

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