Following the Spanish Supreme Court’s decision to keep Jordi Sànchez in custody pending trial, Amnesty International have released a statement asking that the charges of sedition and rebellion filed against Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart be dropped. “They are baseless and, therefore, must be dropped”, said AI’s European Director Gauri Van Gulik.
“Holding Jordi Sànchez in custody for an extended period of time constitutes an excessive, disproportionate restriction on his right to free speech and peaceful assembly”, she added. Van Gulik also accused the Spanish Supreme Court of “making this injustice worse”. The protests called by Sànchez and Cuixart, she noted, do not constitute a crime of rebellion or sedition. Rather, at worst they might be characterised as a public disturbance.
Amnesty International add that they do not call into question the decision to suspend the law of the self-determination referendum, but Sànchez and Cuixart “had a right to voice their views opposing the decisions of the Constitutional Court, as well as hold peaceful gatherings to rally in support of the referendum and Catalan independence”. Furthermore, the NGO points out that pressing criminal charges against the two grassroots leaders “is an excessive, disproportionate measure”.
Finally, AI asserts the right to free speech and peaceful assembly and demands that the right of individuals and civil society groups to voice their opinions on the referendum and independence be guaranteed.