Solidarity with hunger strike

Catalan government approves declaration of support for actions of prisoners protesting court blockade

The Catalan government yesterday decided to approve an institutional declaration to support the demands of the political prisoners who have gone on hunger strike. Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Turull began their strike on December 1, and were followed yesterday by Josep Rull and Joaquim Forn.

Government spokesperson Elsa Artadi yesterday explained the agreements and assured that they were not “requesting special treatment, but quite the opposite”: that the Spanish courts of justice “fulfill their obligation” in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights and the international pact of civil and political rights. For the Catalan executive, the violations of these rights by both the Supreme Court and the National Court “have been constant” since provisional jail was imposed on Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez on October 16, 2017.

Artadi recalled that before the strike they had already criticised the “blockade strategy” against the appeals lodged against provisional prison and that the Constitutional Court is supposed to act as a guarantor and protector of fundamental rights, which includes “trial without undue delay”. Hence the demand for fair and impartial treatment, the right to freedom, judicial protection and the presumption of innocence, the right to political participation and the right to an ordinary judge predetermined by law. According to the Catalan government, the prisoners have embarked upon “one of the toughest, most dignified and most courageous forms of non-violent protest.”

Meanwhile, the Ombudsman of Catalonia, Rafael Ribó, said that Article 507 of the Criminal Prosecution Act grants ordinary criminal tribunals a maximum of 30 days to resolve appeals.

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