The whole world knows it: Dissent against an all mighty government ends in jail and oppression against those who dare challenge dictatorships in democracy clothes.
In the past, those who spoke against oppressive regimes were captured, dragged out of their homes and sent to gulags. No trial, no charges, no justice.
Today, western countries have no physical gulags, at least not as they existed 50 years ago, but there are mental and political prisons where people who want liberty and freedom are still prisoners.
Challenging violent regimes renders people unwarranted violations of their civil, constitutional and universal rights. The latest example is a group of pro-independence politicians in Catalonia, who have been sent to prison for carrying out their duty; that which voters asked them to do.
Killian Jornet summarises perfectly what is happening in Catalonia today. In a recent tweet he says:
“When, in the lack of political capacity, the repression and imprisonment are used to silence ideas, the lack of democracy becomes evident.”
In the case of Spain, its government is led by Popular Party (PP) mafiosos, who won’t yield a millimetre of their ill acquired power. The PP is one of the most corrupt parties in the history of European politics, but its leaders, now in government in Spain, find it unsuitable for citizens to freely elect their political leaders and to have them take care of their business in a democratic and legal way as entrusted on them by laws approved by a Parliament elected by the people of Catalonia.
On Thursday, a day when The Dead are honoured in many western countries, we might as well have mourned the death of Democracy, Liberty and Freedom for Catalonians. Spain has carried out a true Coup d’Etat against the autonomous region by stripping its people from its democratically elected officials who are now prisoners of the Spanish regime in facilities in Estremera and Alcalá Meco.
The former vice-president, Oriol Junqueras as well as consellers, like Raul Romeva, and seven other elected officials have been captured and placed in prison without bail. Meanwhile in Belgium, the president of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, has demanded the liberation of his cabinet saying that “between bars, the legitimate government of Catalonia is infinitely more worthy than its deluded jailers”
“We will not rest until you return to freedom, your courage will be, from today, the most powerful motor of our struggle, which is the fight for democracy, justice and dignity,” said Toni Comín, a minister who is traveling in Brussels with President Puigdemont.
In a separate message, the Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, called the arrest of the ministers “excessive and unnecessary”:
“Today is a deeply sad day for Catalans and Catalonians and a gray day for Catalonia. It should never have arrived to this situation, I can only be sad at the excessive precautionary measure of imprisonment that has been dictated for the vice president and seven consellers of the Government of the Generalitat “, she added.
“We are far from the political solution that we would have reached with dialogue, negotiation and a pact, and we are closer to a disaster for the country and for the Catalans,” added Colau.
Criticism against judge Carmen Lamela, an appointee of Madrid, has not been delayed, both from Catalan figures as well as from European politicians. According to La Vanguardia, a Catalonia-based newspaper, the president of the region of Flanders (Belgium), Geert Bourgeois, criticized the order from National Court judge, Carmen Lamela, that meant “the imprisonment without bail for the former vice-president of the Catalan regional government Oriol Junqueras and for seven ex-counselors. Bourgeois has said that this decision “went too far”.
Tens of thousands of Catalans demand freedom for Political Prisoners
Thousands of people gathered on Thursday at the gates of the Parliament in an act convened by the sovereignty platforms to call for the release of “political prisoners”, after the imprisonment of former Vice President of the Generalitat Oriol Junqueras and seven other consellers of the Government.
The sovereignist organizations ANC and Òmnium have convened at 7:00 pm for rallies in front of all the town councils of the county and the Parlament to protest against the decision of the judge of the National Court, Carmen Lamela, who has sent Junqueras to jail along with the consellers Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Meritxell Borràs, Raül Romeva, Carles Mundó, Dolors Bassa, Joaquim Forn and Santi Vila, the latter until he deposits a 50,000 euros as bail payment.
In Barcelona, thousands of people gathered in front of the Parliament on Thursday night, chanting slogans such as “It is Puigdemont, our president”, “You are not alone”, “General strike”, “Our government, our parliament”, “Independence” and “Political prisoners, freedom “, As well as chants of” independence “and the anthem of Catalonia,” Els Segadors “.
The organization set up a stage decorated with a large “estelada” (independence flag), from which members addressed the concentrates.
The Mossos d’Esquadra are guarding the Parlament building, which remains closed and protected in its main access inside the Ciutadella Park by a cordon of protection fences.
Among those attending the gathering are the former presidents of Parlament Núria de Gispert and Joan Rigol; the current leaders of the ANC, Agustí Alcoverro, replacing the imprisoned Jordi Sánchez, and Òmnium Cultural, Marcel Mauri, who relieved Jordi Cuixart after his entry into prison, as well as the republican Alfred Bosch; the leader of Podem in Catalonia, Albano Dante-Fachín; the deputy mayor of the Barcelona City Council Jaume Asens; and the UGT leader in Catalonia, Camil Ros.
Spain, a failed State
The general secretary of ERC, Marta Rovira, criticized on Thursday the imprisonment ordered by a National Court judge of the vice president, Oriol Junqueras, and seven other consellers: “Today the Spanish State is a failed state, democratically bankrupt, that has hit bottom. ”
Visibly moved, she made these statements to journalists before the National Court after hearing the decision of the judge, and regretted it because it involves sending to prison “honest politicians who have complied with the electoral program and with a democratic mandate” for culminating the process towards the independence of Catalonia.
“They have put innocent people in jail, good people who only worked to have a freer, fairer and more dignified country,” and she recalled that the president of the ANC, Jordi Sànchez, and the president of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, are also deprived of their liberty.
Rovira has called on all Democrats to “react, to get out, to prevent this from happening in the XXI century,” and has been convinced that the decision of the judge will not stop the process towards the independence of Catalonia.
“We will fight until the end because we have all the right of the world to live in a more just, freer and more dignified country”, she said, and also affirmed that this imprisonment still gives more reasons to the supporters of the independence of Catalonia to continue fighting for their right of self-determination.