Ever since Catalunya’s failed independence bid in October 2017 the Catalan people have have faced serious repression from the Spanish State with a number of Catalan leaders being held in jail for over a year. Today People Before Profit received this statement from the left wing Catalan organisation, CUP (Candidates of Popular Unity), regarding a new wave of repression.
Just days before the start of the trials of the jailed Catalan leaders the Spanish National Police have carried out a series of arrests of leading figures in the left independence movement, including two city mayors.
This morning, 16th January, the Spanish National Police Investigation Brigade has arrested two well-known mayors of the CUP from the area of Girona: Ignasi Sabater from Verges and Dani Cornellà from Celrà, and so far, 9 more activists. In total, 11 people.
This operation has no judicial mandate. The High Court of Justice of Catalonia has stated that there is no court order and that the operation is an initiative of the Investigation Brigade of the Spanish police. This operation has been carried out without any prior notice to the detainees.
At first their lawyers have not been allowed into the police station to speak with the detainees and when they have tried to speak to the police from the front of the building in Catalan, they have said that they would not let them in until they speak in Spanish. Finally they have allowed themaccess , more than 3 hours after the arrests.
One of the members of the National Police Investigation Brigade that carried out the arrests is the cop who physically attacked the photojournalist, Jordi Borrás, who has been reporting on the activities of the extreme right.
This latest action is part of the repressive attitude of the Spanish state that has used all the instruments at their disposal to criminalize and punish the independence project. The violation of Catalunya’s collective right to self-determination is producing also a constant violation of civil and political rights at the individual level. We cannot tolerate or allow this situation anymore.
Without any procedural or democratic guarantees, any judicial proceedings against the movement in defence of the right to self-determination must be challenged and denounced. This is going to be one of the political priorities of the CUP and the independence left movement.
In view of this situation, we accuse the Spanish State of authoritarianism and violation of democracy. It is the Spanish state and its institutions that are preventing a democratic solution to the conflict.
We will call for solidarity demonstrations and rallies together with other political, social and trade union organizations because this infringement of rights affects us all.