The president of Esquerra and political prisoner Oriol Junqueras raises the issue in two letters stating the case of all the political prisoners, and urges both bodies to take action
The President of Esquerra Republicana Oriol Junqueras has sent letters to the Council of Europe and to the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations outlining the violation of the rights he and the rest of the Catalan political prisoners are suffering, since they have been prevented from confining at home. Mr Junqueras has also called on both international bodies to take action to restore their rights.
In the letters, he denounces the threats the Spanish Supreme Court has aimed at prison parole board officials, warning them that were they to approve the release of the political prisoners during confinement, they would incur in malfeasance. According to Mr Junqueras, this threat is the direct cause of the negative resolution to his requests for parole during the COVID19 crisis.
Furthermore, Mr Junqueras also points out that this refusal goes against the mandate of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, who recommends that states should take urgent measures to free up space in prisons, allowing confinement at home for prisoners at risk, vulnerable persons and inmates with leave. The cases of the political prisoners is included in the UN recommendation as they are under the open prison regime provided in article 100.2 of the Spanish Penitentiary Regulations, which allows them to go out to work or care for family members, as Mr Junqueras highlights in his letters.
All this, says Junqueras, generates discriminatory treatment, not only for the political prisoners, but also for all those inmates who find themselves under 100.2 at the same penitentiary centres at Lledoners, Mas d'Enric and Puig de les Basses and will also be unable to spend confinement at home, unlike inmates at other prisons under the same conditions.
Accordingly, Mr Junqueras concludes that being unable to spend confinement at home jeopardizes their health, and also violates internationally recognized fundamental rights, such as separation of powers, the principle of non-discrimination on political grounds, and equality before the law or the respect of minorities.
The president of Esquerra has sent the letters along with the letter sent by MEP Diana Riba to the European Commission on the threat by the Supreme Court against the officials at the Catalan prisons.