MEPs Want to Watch Trial

A group of MEPs meets with political prisoners

Bové condemns the lack of guarantees in the judicial process against Catalan independence

MEPs from different countries will request permission to act as international observers in the judicial process against independence through the EU-Catalonia Dialogue Platform, which is putting pressure on the EU to intervene in the conflict between Catalonia and Spain. The announcement was made by José Bové yesterday at the prison gate of Lledoners after visiting political prisoners there. Bové, a former French trade union leader, and a current member of the European Green Party in Strasbourg, said, “we have no guarantees,” in relation to the trial and that the conditions the prosecuted individuals are facing are “a true problem of democracy.” The MEP called for the “immediate” release of the prisoners so that they might prepare for the trial. In total, the entourage was formed by half a dozen MEPs from France, Wales, Ireland and Sweden, who moved on to other prisons containing political prisoners yesterday afternoon, accompanied by Catalan MEPs.

“They will be in a prison that is more than an hour from Madrid, they will be transported every day at five in the morning in vans, wearing handcuffs, and will then have to defend themselves,” Bové said.His meeting in Sant Joan de Vilatorrada prison lasted two hours.

Bodil Valero, the Green MEP from Sweden said that Europe has not taken a position on the conflict because of “cowardice”. She said: “The problem is that Europe always tells us that it can do nothing because it is the state’s responsibility and the State is Spain. Nothing will be done until Spain requests it.” Valero was surpised at the prison sentences asked for by the prosecution and said that in Sweden the harshest punishment for the equivalent crime is two and a half years.

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