In a statement this evening, the president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, appealed to the “conscience, honesty, intelligence and generosity” of citizens, parties, entities and institutions to “recover the thread of history” that “led us to the First of October and that we should never have broken”.
“Now is the time for strategic unity – a shared horizon and course; this is our responsibility,” he said. He also warned: “I’ve been committed from the start to working to make Catalonia an independent state. We can’t allow ourselves to squander the progress we’ve made; I won’t allow it. Now is our nation’s hour.”
President Torra addressed the press at the Catalan government delegation in Madrid after attending the final session of the 1 October trial. “Tomorrow, the court will start writing the sentence, and it is our responsibility alone to make the decision to start writing, with more resolve than ever, Catalonia’s future in freedom,” he said. “Our response to the sentence can only be to assert a right that belongs not to a president, a government, or any particular parliament, but to a people as a whole, which means that it is inalienable.”
The head of the executive also said that following the conclusion of the Supreme Court trial: “Now is the time to make this cry for justice heard around the world. […] We will devote all our strength and energy to decrying the violation of rights and the authoritarian drift of the state.” Referring to the recent decision of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which calls for the release of the political prisoners, Torra said: “Spain is violating international law. We will denounce it.” According to the president: “No one likes Spain’s anti-democratic actions.” He also said: “Today, more than ever – faced with the violation of rights, systematic persecution and constant discrimination – Catalonia’s independence is a just cause.”
“Today we’ve heard the voices of those they want to silence”
During his statement, the head of the executive noted: “Today we’ve heard the voices of those they want to silence” in the Supreme Court “of a state that long ago lost respect for democracy, the separation of powers and fundamental rights”. In the words of President Torra: “What the Spanish state wants to put on trial is more than just these people and their ideas. It wants to try and to pass sentence on an entire people’s democratic desire for freedom.”
The head of the government insisted that the trial had been a “huge public folly” and recalled that there were irregularities during the hearing, including “testimony by witnesses who are parties”, “unequal treatment of parties to the prosecution and parties to the defence”, and “violations of the defendants’ right to a fair defence.”
Quim Torra said that the First of October was “the biggest act of civil disobedience ever committed in Europe”, and that the result was “a mandate in favour of the creation of an independent state for Catalonia in the form of a republic”.
The president recalled that the Catalan independence process began with a Constitutional Court ruling against Catalonia’s Statute of Autonomy and observed that it may now culminate with a sentence from Spain’s Supreme Court, a turn of events that he said will encapsulate “the way the Kingdom of Spain has dealt with Catalonia”.