Esquerra President Oriol Junqueras and erstwhile Foreign Minister Raül Romeva begin work, the former at the University of Vic and the latter at a human rights association.
Oriol Junqueras and Raül Romeva were released from prison this week for a few hours, as provided in article 100.2 of the Criminal Code for second-category inmates. The permit allows them leave three days a week, 6 hours a day. They will have to return to prison at night. Last October, the two politicians were convicted of organizing the 2017 Referendum for the Self-Determination of Catalonia in a judicial process replete with irregularities. Both have left the prison with dignity, steadfastness and a smile on their faces.
Mr Romeva will work at a private association evaluating the progress of the Dayton Peace Agreement which ended the Bosnian war. He will also act as a consultant for the entity in recovering the memory of the relationship between Catalonia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, promoting research, analysis and reflection on civil conflicts and the role that the citizens and community action play. "First day of work outside of Lledoners. Still without freedom, but with my commitment intact. I continue and will continue to serve the citizens; that's what I've always done," Mr Romeva tweeted yesterday.
Meanwhile, Mr Junqueras has begun teaching history at the Manresa campus of the University of Vic, where he was greeted today with loud applause and shouts of freedom. "Teach and learn. Always. And thank you to everyone for your support, I love you!” Mr Junqueras tweeted.
Esquerra Republicana’s Deputy Secretary-General and spokesman Marta Vilalta said in a press conference yesterday that seeing them out of prison is "a picture of dignity, commitment and firmness" that "demonstrates the defeat of the state." She also said that "we will continue to fight to end these general proceedings against independence." Meanwhile, the party’s National Coordinator Pere Aragonès recalled that leaving prison for a few hours "is not freedom, it is the strict application of Article 100.2, which is why we demand amnesty."