ECHR admits Esquerra leader Oriol Junqueras’ complaint against Spain for preventing him from serving as an MP while in custody

Esquerra applauds this new step to denounce the Spanish State for violating the political rights of pro-independence leaders who represent the citizens

The European Court of Human Rights has admitted a complaint filed by Esquerra Republicana leader Oriol Junqueras against the Spanish state. The merits? Having prevented him from attending the convening f the Parliament of Catalonia after being elected on 21st December, 2017 while he was in pre-trial detention. In short, having prevented him from serving as a member of the Catalan Parliament.

The complaint presented by Esquerra counsel Andreu Van den Eynde alleged violations of freedom of expression and the right to free election, as well as abuse of power by the Spanish state. These rights and freedoms are provided by the European Convention on Human Rights (Articles 10, 18 and 3 of protocol no. 1), the regulatory framework on human rights, and are subject to protection by the EctHR.

Mr Junqueras forcefully assured that “this is a new step on the way to denouncing and obtaining firm convictions against the Spanish State for the violation of political rights, for the right to representation,” but above all, added the leader of Esquerra Republicana, “for the violation of the citizens’ right to be represented by those they have voted for”.

This is a new step on the way to denouncing and obtaining firm convictions against the Spanish State for the violation of political rights
Oriol Junqueras President of Esquerra Republicana

For his part, Mr Van den Eynde was pleased to submit once again the Catalan case before the international bodies that “had already recognized in 2019 at the Court of Justice of the European Union Mr Junqueras’s parliamentary immunity, counter to the criteria of the Spanish Supreme Court,” and subsequently in 2022, the acknowledgement by the UN Human Rights Committee of “the violation of the political rights of certain pro-independence leaders by virtue of the provisional suspension of all their representative positions.” “Every step forward we take in Europe is yet another instrument to demonstrate that the Spanish state has systematically abused the law against the independence movement and the leaders of the 1st October 2017” referendum, concluded the lawyer.

The Strasbourg court has now referred the matter to the Spanish state for a position regarding the complaint and other procedural issues, mentioning in particular the case law on political persecution of dissent in regard of the Demirtas case. Spain has until September 1 of this year to respond.