Esquerra Republicana reports multiple rights violations by the Spanish state in its contributions to the European Commission Rule of Law Report

Esquerra denounces the State's dirty war against independence and asserts the securing of the Amnesty law, presenting recommendations in several areas

Esquerra Republicana has presented a proposal to complement the report on the evolution of the rule of law in Spain that the European Commission publishes every year. In the drafting process, the Commission opens a period for civil society organizations to participate, an opportunity that Esquerra has taken advantage of, as they did last year, to make their contributions in different areas such as the functioning of the judicial system, the war on corruption, and pluralism in the media.

Thus, the report first highlights all the investigations regarding CatalanGate and the espionage on politicians, activists and lawyers linked to the independence movement using the Pegasus spyware. Regarding this, the report includes the resolutions of both the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, recommending that the Spanish state carries out an “a full, independent and effective investigation” into all cases of the use of spyware.

Along these same lines, the document also highlights the existence of Operation Catalonia, explaining that then Spanish Minister of the Interior Jorge Fernández Díaz, endorsed by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, used Spain’s National Intelligence Centre (CNI) to create fabricated defamatory reports on pro-independence leaders, leaking them to the press in order to subsequently start a spurious investigation against them.

Member of the European Parliament Jordi Solé was responsible for providing the contributions to the document by Esquerra, and declared that “The Pegasus scandal and the recent revelations about Operation Catalonia, the illegal dirty war to discredit Catalan independence, demonstrate that in order to stop independence, the Spanish State has dynamited the rule of law.”

Meanwhile, the preparation for this report has been seen as a good opportunity to explain outside Spain why it was necessary to agree on an Amnesty law that considers that all the facts regarding the poll of 9 November 2014 and the referendum on independence of 1 October 2017, were not a crime.

Furthermore, Esquerra has also reported the unusual situation the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) finds itself in Spain. Esquerra has emphasized the fact that the mechanism for electing judges is insufficient to guarantee independence, nor its “appearance” of neutrality. Esquerra has thus proven that the renewal of the CGPJ has been stalled since 2018, since a three-fifths majority of the Spanish Congress is needed to renew it and the conservative forces refuse to allow its passage. This situation, which has also been denounced by the Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO), is classed in the report as “highly unsatisfactory” and jeopardizes judicial independence in Spain.

In addition, Esquerra also echoes the letter that five United Nations Special Rapporteurs sent the Spanish government presenting Esquerra Republicana as suffering “extreme reprisal as an organization” and urging the Spanish government to cease its persecution.

Finally, a whole series of other facts and considerations have been garnered regarding freedom of the press and anti-corruption that highlight the “poor democratic culture,” that according to the report exists in Spain.