The political prisoners are freed, but they continue defending amnesty for all those suffering retaliation

Esquerra leader Oriol Junqueras: “Every day, and until our day of victory comes, we will continue working to materialize the Catalan Republic”

Oriol Junqueras, Raül Romeva, Carme Forcadell, Dolors Bassa, Jordi Cuixart, Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull and Joaquim Forn have left prison. The Spanish government has approved nine pardons that have put an end to the unjust situation of the political prisoners. However, all of them maintain that the only instrument to end repression, which still affects more than 3,000 people, is amnesty.

In this regard, after his release from prison, Esquerra Republicana’s President Oriol Junqueras reaffirmed his commitment to amnesty: “Today, we are nine more who will go on working for the freedom of all the people retaliated against in this country.” Mr Junqueras reiterated his commitment to independence, assuring that “Prison will not make us yield to anything. On the contrary, it reinforces all our convictions.” “Every day, and until our day of victory comes, we will continue working alongside the people in order to materialize the Catalan Republic,” he exclaimed. Mr Junqueras also addressed a few words to all the workers and inmates he met in the different prisons: “They are an example of humaneness,” he said.

Raül Romeva also spoke out to honour the “3,000 people who are still awaiting legal proceedings and trial.” “Nothing is over today,” said Mr Romeva. “We will be by their side, just as they have been with us.” The Esquerra leader also said that the prison would not “lessen their will” to continue working for the objective of a free Catalonia: “We have come out to work for amnesty, for self-determination and for the Republic.” From the grounds in front of Lledoners prison, Mr Romeva expressed his gratitude for the six colleagues with whom he has shared more than three years in prison, and concluded saying that the course set for the Catalan Republic is “irreversible.”

  The political prisoners are freed, but they continue defending amnesty for all those suffering retaliation

On her release from Wad-Ras prison in Barcelona, former Speaker of Parliament Carme Forcadell also defended amnesty “for all those exiled and retaliated against: don’t fret, we will succeed,” she promised. Ms Forcadell thanked all those who have been at her side and have protested in favour of her freedom during these 39 months. “Without them, this would not have been possible,” she said. The Esquerra leader did not want to say goodbye without first recalling each and every one of the prisoners with whom she has shared confinement for the last three years: “They have helped me to be stronger and more empathetic, I will never forget them.” “In prison, being a feminist makes more sense than ever, and I will continue,” concluded Ms Forcadell.

The last to leave prison was former minister Dolors Bassa, from the Puig de les Basses penitentiary near Figueres, with a bunch of flowers in her hands and words full of gratitude for those who have supported her for almost 4 years. “So often would I say ‘good night’ to you and the door would close, today it finally opens” she said, describing her release from prison only as a first step. “We have only managed to get nine people released, but there are a lot more defendants [in legal proceedings]” she said, explicitly citing the Court of Auditors and the exiles, for whom the Council of Europe has also called to drop charges against. It is for this reason that the former minister also demands amnesty. “We have come out today [midsummer], which is the longest day, the shortest night; we have come out, but with a lot of work still to do. And repeating words that have recently been said, I want to complete them: We are where we are. […] Everything is yet to be done, and everything is possible,” she concluded.