Thursday, July 7

The Assembly of the Council of Europe calls for the release of those sentenced by 1-O, reform of sedition and withdraw the Euro-orders

The Assembly of Parliamentarians of the Council of Europe calls for the release of those convicted by 1-O, reform the sedition and withdraw the Euroorders by 70 votes in favor and 28 against. The vote takes place on the same day that the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has announced that this Tuesday the Council of Ministers will approve the pardons to the independence leaders imprisoned by the 1-O.

During the debate, the plenary rejected amendments presented by the Spanish socialists and popularists who defended that the report did not call for the repeal of the Euroorders.

The report voted in plenary session had been previously approved by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Assembly of Parliamentarians of the Council of Europe (PACE) – a non-EU institution made up of fifty European countries -, which approved three weeks ago, by 20 votes to 6, a report calling for the release of the pro-independence leaders sentenced by 1-O.

In the report, titled Should politicians be prosecuted for statements made in the exercise of their mandate? prepared by Boriss Cilevičs (Latvia, SOC), the rapporteur links the situation in Turkey and Spain, although in plenary session he said that we are “equal”, but he did argue that in both countries there are “disproportionate penalties for politicians”.

The report, which has been voted in plenary session this Monday, asks the Spanish authorities “to reform the criminal provisions on rebellion and sedition so that they do not allow reinterpreting the decriminalization of the organization of an illegal referendum, intended by the Legislative when it abolished this specific offense in 2005, or result in disproportionate penalties for non-violent offenses. ”

The text also urges the Spanish authorities to “consider the possibility of pardoning or releasing from prison the Catalan politicians convicted of their role in organizing the unconstitutional referendum of October 2017 and the peaceful mass demonstrations related to it, and to consider the possibility to abandon extradition procedures against Catalan politicians living abroad and who are wanted for the same reasons. ”

At this point, the ERC representative, Laura Castel, has asked to include the term “amnesty”, which was also rejected by the plenary.

Likewise, it is called to “withdraw the remaining prosecutions of the lower-ranking officials involved in the unconstitutional referendum of 2017 and refrain from sanctioning the successors of the politicians imprisoned for symbolic actions simply by expressing their solidarity with the detainees; and guarantee that the criminal provision on the misappropriation of public funds is applied in such a way that liability arises only when real and quantified losses can be established for the public budget. ”

On the other hand, the approved document calls for “refraining from requiring detained Catalan politicians to repudiate their deeply rooted political views in exchange for a more favorable prison regime or an opportunity for clemency.”

“However,” the document maintains, “they can be required to commit to pursuing their political goals without resorting to illegal means.”

The report also calls for “establishing an open and constructive dialogue with all political forces in Catalonia, including those opposed to independence, in order to strengthen the quality of Spanish democracy, one of the oldest states in Europe. , through the authority of the rule of law, good governance and total respect for human rights, without resorting to criminal law, but in full respect of the Spanish constitutional order “.

The Spanish Foreign Minister, Arancha González Laya, explained about the report: “There is a vote of confidence in the Spanish rule of law defined as ‘full’, including the independence of the courts, an acknowledgment that the imprisoned politicians were tried for their actions and not opinions, acts considered illegal and unconstitutional. ”

In addition, González Laya believes that the report “makes a series of recommendations that have to do with the judicial system that seem confusing to us. To ask the Executive to interfere in the judiciary is to ignore the operation of the rule of law.” The minister added, at a press conference in Luxembourg after the EU foreign ministers meeting: “I would stay with what is happening, not with what is said; with the steps that are being taken in our country, relaunching the dialogue and the reunion, where tomorrow we will decide on the pardons for the search for harmony and the reunion of all: it is an instrument of our Constitution, just as it is in responding to violations of the Constitution. ”