Deputy SG Romeva: “We were told it was impossible for the political prisoners to be released and for sedition to be repealed”

MEP Diana Riba affirms Esquerra is “a guarantee in the fight against repression” before going to testify before the City of Justice court on the Pegasus cyber-espionage case

“In the face of this State that is fearful of democracy, with a repressive proclivity, afraid of the exercise of democracy to its entire extent, it is up to us at Esquerra Republicana to clear the path,” said Deputy Secretary General for Prospective, Agenda 2030, Ecological Transition and Sport Raül Romeva on Friday. In this regard, he vindicated the anti-repressive work by Esquerra: “We were told it was impossible for the political prisoners to be released and for sedition to be repealed, and that has now occurred.”

Speaking in front of the City of Justice courts where MEP Diana Riba and Esquerra parliamentary party chair Josep Maria Jové were to appear on the Pegasus cyberespionage case today, Mr Romeva highlighted the work done internationaly “to explain what is happening and to get people to understand,” a task, he pointed out, “led largely by party Secretary General Marta Rovira from Geneva.”

“We have done so at the Council of Europe, before the High Commission for Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Committee, as well as with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” said Mr Romeva. “All this is work that must also be done to enable the democratic exercise of the right to self-determination,” he defended. He added that “We have shown that the work that has been done in the international arena has shown results beyond and within the framework of the Spanish State.”

Before testifying as a victim of Pegasus espionage, Diana Riba stressed that Esquerra Republicana “is a guarantee in the fight against repression.” As an example, she mentioned the work done in the Catalan Parliament, the Spanish Congress and the European Parliament against espionage with Pegasus, and the fact that they managed to get several United Nations Special Rapporteurs to ask the Spanish State to investigate, prosecute and impose penalties for mass espionage.

We have managed to wrest tools of repression from the State
Marta Vilaret Vicesecretary general of rights, freedoms and anti-repression fight

“We don’t have a democratic administration if there is spying on political opponents. Spain is far from being an advanced democracy,” claimed the MEP. Ms Riba recalled that the appeals made by Esquerra have forced the Provincial Court of Barcelona to arraign a representative of NSO—the supplier of the spyware—and to summons the current director of Spain’s CNI intelligence agency, Esperanza Casteleiro. In addition, the court has urged the Spanish government to declassify secret documents regarding Pegasus. “We hope that the Pedro Sánchez government complies and declassifies them,” she said.

Marta Vilaret: “We have managed to wrest tools of repression from the State”

The press conference was also attended by Esquerra Deputy Secretary General for Rights, Freedoms and the Fight against Repression, Marta Vilaret, who denounced the “general cause against independence,” which means that not everyone is “in the same boat when it comes to politics.” “Organizing a referendum to give voice to the people is not and cannot be a crime. The 1st October 2017 referendum was not and never will be a crime. This fact has not been acknowledged by the Spanish State,” she stated.

Ms Vilaret recalled that there will be a trial at the High Court of Justice in Catalonia against Esquerra leaders Lluís Salvadó, Josep Maria Jové and Natàlia Garriga for organising the referendum, and that there are over 40 senior officials of the Catalan Generalitat government awaiting trial, along with mayors like Bernat Solé who have been condemned. “We will not weaken, oppression will not stop us” she said, claiming progress in the fight against repression. “We have managed to wrest tools of repression from the State.”