The Catalan Parliament president, Roger Torrent, is taking what he describes as a “violation of fundamental rights” in Catalonia to the United Nations. The speaker’s trip to Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday and Thursday comes after the Spanish Supreme Court twice prevented MP Jordi Sànchez, who is in pre-trial prison, from being sworn in as president. The judge did not give Sànchez permission to attend the parliamentary session to be appointed or to take part via video link.

Puigdemont, also barred

The Spanish Constitutional Court had previously barred Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont from being sworn in last January, because he was unable to attend the chamber. Puigdemont risked arrest and jail if he had chosen to come back from exile in Belgium to attend the session.

UN urged Spain guaranteeing “political rights”

Torrent will meet several members of the United Nations, aiming to “defend the political rights of all MPs and denounce the illegitimate interference” of the Spanish authorities in the Catalan Parliament. He will also hold some discreet meetings with several Swiss elected members during his stay. The UN Human Rights Council urged Spain some weeks ago to take precautionary measures to guarantee Jordi Sànchez’s “political rights.” The committee also urged Madrid to allow the jailed MP to “have access, in equal condition, to the public functions of his country.”

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