Esquerra leads an initiative at the Council of Europe urging Spain to apply amnesty for the victims of its reprisals and to negotiate self-determination for Catalonia

Esquerra’s Laura Castel is joined by 21 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to table a joint declaration following the arrest of MEP and former President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont

On Thursday, 30 September, 22 members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe led by Esquerra Senator Laura Castel signed and tabled a joint declaration urging the Council of Europe to demand that Spain apply “amnesty for all those judicially harassed,” as well as for active political negotiations on self-determination to take place. The declaration is in response to the arrest of President Carles Puigdemont on September 23 in Alghero, Italy, on the basis of a European arrest warrant.

With this joint declaration, the signatories also express their deep concern “about the ongoing repression since 2017 of pro-independence supporters,” and “call on Spanish authorities to immediately withdraw the existing European Arrest Warrants and extradition orders against all Catalan politicians in exile.”

The Parliamentary Assembly already took a position several months ago on the Cilevics Report, passed by over 60% of the European Chamber, with votes against from the People’s Party and the Spanish Socialist Party, on the political conflict between Catalonia and Spain, urging the Spanish government to release the political prisoners, and also recognised that extradition or irregular lifting of immunities should not be abused to silence disruptive initiatives.

As Ms Castel explained in her statements to the European chamber, the Declaration also condemns the judicial strategy carried out by the Spanish Supreme Court, because it “puts in jeopardy principles of solidarity among members of the European Union space and is in breach of fundamental human rights.” In addition, Esquerra’s senator added that the parliamentarians point in the Declaration to the need to find a solution “to meet Catalans’ aspirations.”

Among the signatories of this European Declaration, in addition to Esquerra senator Laura Castel, are representatives from Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, France, Iceland, Turkey and Spain (Basque National Party).