Political prisoners return to the European Parliament to denounce the repression by the Spanish state

The members of Esquerra travelled to Strasbourg accompanied by MCP Meritxell Serret, who was exiled in Brussels for 3 years

Oriol Junqueras, Carme Forcadell, Raül Romeva and Dolors Bassa – all of whom were recently pardoned after spending over 3 years in prison for the 2017 independence referendum – travelled yesterday to Strasbourg, the seat of the European Parliament, to denounce the repression of the Spanish State. They were accompanied by the Member of the Catalan Parliament (MCP) and former government minister Meritxell Serret, exiled in Brussels since 2017 and who eventually returned to Catalonia last March.

“We are very happy to be back in the European Parliament after such a long time in prison,” said the leader of Esquerra Republicana Oriol Junqueras, recalling that he himself had been elected a Member of the European Parliament at the beginning of the present legislature, but that it was precisely “Spain’s Supreme Court [that] prevented him from taking his seat.” Mr Junqueras described his case as “yet another example of all the repression that is being inflicted on Catalan society,” which affects almost 3,000 people “in exile or pending trial.”

Esquerra’s leader said that being at the European Parliament was also “an opportunity” to work “with members of different parliamentary groups.” “We know that we have a lot of work to do and we are convinced we will prevail,” Mr Junqueras concluded. In this regard, Esquerra’s MCPs met several MEPs of the Greens-ALE and other parliamentary groups.