President of the Esquerra Republicana group in the Parliament of Catalonia
President of the Esquerra Republicana group in the Parliament of Catalonia

Esquerra, centre-right JxCat and left-wing CUP want a resolution by the Parliament of Catalonia in favour of such a law during the next session, and to bring it before the Spanish Congress during its session in March

Esquerra Republicana has agreed with CUP and JxCat to push for an Amnesty Law that will end the general persecution of independence. The three parties have submitted a motion for resolution on amnesty, which will be voted on during the next plenary session of Parliament between 15th and 17th December. With the approval of the Catalan Parliament, they intend to submit the Amnesty Law for adoption by the Spanish Parliament during the month of March.

The Parliament of Catalonia will specifically declare that “the free exercise of political rights cannot be responded to by means of the criminal justice system,” since the freedoms of expression, assembly and demonstration, as well as the right to political participation are essential in a democratic society. Based on this premise, the chamber will demand approval by the Spanish Parliament of an Amnesty Law that extinguishes “any form of criminal and administrative responsibility for all acts of political intent linked to the democratic struggle for the self-determination of Catalonia, classified as crimes and committed from January 1, 2013 until the Amnesty Law comes into force.”

The amnesty should thus cover the crimes of rebellion and sedition, malfeasance, misappropriation and disobedience linked to the organization of the straw poll of 9th November, 2014 and the referendum on Catalan independence of 1st October, 2017. It should also include acts of free speech and opinion on the political conflict that have been classed as hate crimes and crimes against public order committed during the protests against the action of Spain’s governmental and jurisdictional authorities, including those of the Constitutional Court, following the referendum of 1st October.

The Parliament will also point out that amnesty, in order to be fully effective, must be accompanied by a solution to the conflict with the Spanish state through the recognition of Catalonia’s right to self-determination.

The last point in the draft that will be put to the vote by Esquerra, CUP and JxCat is a call on Catalan society to mobilize and support an amnesty that allows the release of the political prisoners, the return of the exiles and the end of all open court cases. It also encourages all civic, political and social entities to form part of a national accord for amnesty, self-determination and political and civil rights.

“We are here to make things happen”

“Amnesty is the anti-repression framework shared by the entire independence movement, and we are working to add as many political and social actors as possible,” said the chair of Esquerra’s parliamentary group Sergi Sabrià at a press conference.

Although Spain’s Socialist Party is opposed to the amnesty, Mr Sabrià stated that “we are here to apply all our energy to make things happen; our limit can in no case be the Constitution, because we all know that this is a matter of political will” and added that “We will continue, without relent, for this to prosper.”