President Aragonés: “The pardons will not resolve the general cause against independence; only amnesty will put an end to all repression”

The President of Catalonia’s Generalitat government demands that the State “respond without further delay” to the call of the Council of Europe to end repression

The political prisoners are expected to be released from prison within the next few hours. The Spanish government has partially pardoned them after holding them incarcerated, unjustly deprived of their freedom for more than three and a half years. “This decision is an admission that the convictions were unfair,” said President Pere Aragonès.

The president went on to say that “The prisoners will come out with their heads held high and their ideals intact, with their will to build a just and free Catalan Republic strengthened. The pardons will undoubtedly alleviate their personal situations, that of their families and of their friends and colleagues, and also alleviate the suffering of a large majority of citizens of Catalonia who have been demanding the release of the political prisoners.” He also highlighted that “in no case does this resolve the situation of the exiles, with President Puigdemont at the fore; they do not resolve the general case against independence, with thousands of people pending trial for their democratic commitment,” he warned. Nor do they “end, in any case, the debarment that will continue to restrict the political rights of the pro-independence leaders who are now to be released,” added the president.

Therefore, “only an amnesty can put an end to all repression,” he said, “and we will continue in our commitment to achieving that, convinced that together with self-determination, that is what represents the overwhelming consensus in the country.”

This call has also come from the international arena: Mr Aragonés demands that the State “responds without further delay” to the call of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for the release of the pro-independence leaders, the withdrawal of the demands for extradition of the exiles, and to stop the persecution of political representatives and public servants in the exercise of their mandate. “We demand that the Spanish state ceases all repression,” the president said forcefully.

He likewise pointed out that “it is an open opportunity” for a jointly-agreed referendum with international endorsement. “Many of us are convinced that independence is the best tool to help improve the lives of all the citizens of our country” he said, “and many of us are convinced that the best way to achieve this is by way of dialogue, negotiation and agreement.” “It is time for a jointly-agreed referendum with international endorsement, which is what the vast majority of the population of Catalonia wants,” he defended.

Amnesty and self-determination. Freedom and democracy. Negotiation and agreement,” summed up the president at the seat of Catalonia’s Generalitat government.