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  • Catalan government will call on Spanish Attorney General to 'withdraw all referendum-related charges' and 'demand the immediate release of the political prisoners'
In an institutional declaration, the head of the executive announced that the Executive Council of the Catalan government will meet on Friday to approve a response to the opinion issued by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

Catalan government will call on Spanish Attorney General to 'withdraw all referendum-related charges' and 'demand the immediate release of the political prisoners'

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Catalan government will call on Spanish Attorney General to 'withdraw all referendum-related charges' and 'demand the immediate release of the political prisoners'

  • The Executive Council of the Catalan government will meet on Friday to approve a response to the opinion issued by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
  • Torra described the report from the UN body as “devastating” and said compliance with its decisions is compulsory
  • He warned that “the Kingdom of Spain squanders any democratic credibility it may have when it uses the institutions and powers of the state in an indiscriminate and biased way,” and that it “will have to face the consequences of this conduct in international courts”
In an institutional declaration, the head of the executive announced that the Executive Council of the Catalan government will meet on Friday to approve a response to the opinion issued by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.
President Torra during the declaration. Photograph: Jordi Bedmar
The president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, announced today that the Executive Council of the Catalan government will meet on Friday to approve “a formal petition to the Spanish Attorney General, through the Public Prosecutor of Catalonia”, calling on the Attorney General to “urge the Supreme Court and other judicial bodies prosecuting individuals for their role in organising the 1 October self-determination referendum to withdraw all charges, and to call for the immediate release of all political prisoners”. Torra said: “Such a response is especially important today, when we’ve learned that the Public Prosecutor and the State Legal Service are maintaining their request for sentences on charges of rebellion and sedition, demonstrating yet again the spirit of revenge, rather than justice, that is driving the whole process.”
 
The statements were made by the head of the executive this afternoon in an institutional declaration at the Palau de la Generalitat, in response to an opinion issued by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD), “the highest international authority on arbitrary detention”. Torra warned: “Compliance with the decisions of the Working Group is compulsory. If the Kingdom of Spain does not comply, it will be violating international law.”
 
The president described the decision as “devastating” for the Spanish state because it finds that “the detention of the political prisoners is arbitrary, and that they are in prison for defending the right to self-determination”.  According to Torra, “Every hour that the political prisoners are deprived of their freedom is another step in the violation of human rights in Spain. And every hour of prison or exile only strengthens our determination to build a free, republican Catalonia.”
 
He also stressed that the Catalan government should never have had to call for the release of the prisoners because “our political and social representatives should never have been imprisoned for defending the democratic rights of all Catalans”. Torra said: “Spanish law permits referendums, and calls to participate in them are lawful. And there is no political project, opinion or patriotic interest that can ever take precedence over the human, civil and political rights of European citizens.” He also warned that “the Kingdom of Spain squanders any democratic credibility it may have when it uses the institutions and powers of the state in an indiscriminate and biased way. Sooner or later it will have to face the consequences of this conduct in international courts.”

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President Torra

President Torra 57