Last Friday, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) presented its report on Spain’s human rights violations in its treatment of the jailed Catalan leaders to the Human Rights Council.
In May, the group demanded the immediate release of jailed Catalan leaders Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart. Their investigation found that both freedom of expression and the right to demonstration and participation had been clearly violated. Likewise, the statement places the Catalan pro-independence leaders within a “peaceful political movement,” and they are in jail “for their political ideas.”
The working group also considered they should have “the right to obtain compensation and other forms of reparation in accordance with international law.”
The UNWGAD investigates arbitrary detentions which are alleged to be in breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Although Spain had initially asked to participate in last Friday’s hearing, at the last minute it withdrew without further comment.
Spain’s withdrawal comes after a representative accused UNWGAD of launching a “misinformation campaign.” After last Friday’s hearing, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will assess the report and make recommendations to all the States which have committed human rights violations, including Spain, though these are not binding.