Esquerra Senator Castel cautions the Spanish government: “Spain does not comply with Council of Europe resolutions”

Esquerra Republicana introduces a motion in the Senate urging the Spanish government to comply with the recommendations of the Council of Europe addressing Spain regarding the negotiations to resolve the political conflict and reformation of archaic crimes such as sedition and rebellion.

Esquerra Republicana has brought the repression of the Catalan independence movement and the defence of civil and political rights to debate at the Senate. On Wednesday, Esquerra introduced a motion as a result of an interpellation urging the Spanish government to comply with the recommendations in Resolution 2381 (2021) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe addressing Spain. This is the so-called Cilevics report titled “Should politicians be prosecuted for statements made in the exercise of their mandate?” approved on 21st June 2021, in which the Council of Europe recognizes that the jailed pro-independence leaders were political prisoners; it calls on Spain to reform the Penal Code, specifically the crimes of rebellion and sedition; it acknowledges that there was no violence on the part of the public during the 1st October independence referendum; and it proposes dialogue and democratic resolution.

Since the resolution was approved, Spain has not arranged for any monitoring or compliance, which is why Esquerra’s senator Laura Castel, the only pro-independence member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, recalled in her speech that “being a member of the Council of Europe implies commitment to the standards of democratic quality, respect for the rule of law and the safeguarding of human rights, for Spain too.” She warned the Spanish government that “Since June, Spain has not complied with the Council of Europe resolutions.”

In addition, the senator reminded them that “it is merely a matter of political will” and urged the two parties that support the Spanish coalition government, Socialist PSOE and left-wing Podemos, to take steps in line with what the Council of Europe resolution calls for.

The motion was finally rejected by various parliamentary groups, including the Socialist group who voted against the motion. “You Socialist gentlemen have voted against the motion, but we demand that you clarify how you plan to restore political rights to pro-independence leaders, how you will facilitate the return of the exiles, and how you will proceed to end the criminal proceedings against them” Esquerra senator Laura Castel reprimanded them.

Esquerra Republicana regrets that with its vote the PSOE confirms that “Spain does not comply, nor does it intend to comply. And when it does, as in the case of the pardons, it does so half-heartedly, and to the detriment of the principle of equality.” Ms Castel concluded that “Spain continues to delegitimize and trivialize the role of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe by ignoring its resolutions.”