The MEPs say failure to heed the recommendations of the UN and the Council of Europe results in discriminatory treatment
A total of 36 MEPs sent a letter on Wednesday to the Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, condemning the threats proffered by Spain’s Supreme Court at prison officials who might have allowed temporary parole for political prisoners for confinement in their homes during the COVID-19 crisis.
The letter, prompted by MEP Oriol Junqueras and former MEP Raül Romeva, reminds Mr Sánchez of the call by both the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights on governments to release vulnerable prisoners, including low-risk inmates, women, offenders already on parole, and those imprisoned without sufficient legal basis, including political prisoners, during the COVID-19 crisis.
Instead of temporarily releasing nine Catalan political prisoners, who may enjoy parole under article 100.2 of the penitentiary regulation, along with all other prisoners under the same regime, the Supreme Court threatened the public officials “generating discriminatory treatment,” lament the Members of the European Parliament from five different groups.
“This jeopardizes the prisoners’ right to health, but also restricts other fundamental rights and principles which are especially important, such as the separation of powers, the principle of equality before the law and non-discrimination on political grounds, the respect for minorities, and the right to demand accountability, amongst others.” For this reason, the MEPs warn Sanchez that they will closely monitor the evolution of this case and urge him to “begin the appropriate procedures and to take the necessary measures to prevent further unacceptable threats by the judiciary against public officials.”
The signatories of the letter are Diana Riba (Greens/EFA), Oriol Junqueras (Greens/EFA), Carles Puigdemont (Non-attached), Toni Comín (Non-attached), Clara Ponsatí (Non-attached), Alfred Sant (S&D), Alviina Alametsä (Greens/EFA), Chris MadManius (GUE/NGL), Clare Daly (GUE/NGL), Damien Careme (Greens/EFA), David Cormand (Greens/EFA), Francisco Guerreiro (Greens/EFA), Francois Alfonsi (Greens/EFA), Grace O'Suillvan (Greens/EFA), Heidi Hautala (Greens/EFA), Izaskun Bilbao (Renew Europe), José Gusmao (GUE/NGL), Kateřina Konecna (GUE/NGL), Kira Peter-Hansen (Greens/EFA), Leila Chaibi (GUE/NGL), Margrete Auken (Greens/EFA), Marie Toussaint (Greens/EFA), Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL), Michèle Rivasi (Greens/EFA), Mick Wallace (GUE/NGL), Miguel Urbán (GUE/NGL), Milan Brglez (S&D), Pernando Barrena (GUE/NGL) Petra De Sutter (Greens/EFA), Rasmus Andresen (Greens/EFA), Salima Yenbou (Greens/EFA), Saskia BRICMONT (Greens/EFA), Sergey Lagodinsky (Greens/EFA), Stasys Jakeliunas (Greens/EFA), Tatjana Ždanoka (Greens/EFA), Tilly Metz (Greens/EFA).