The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) has demanded the annulment of the convictions of jailed Catalan leaders Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez over the 2017 peaceful demonstration.
In a letter sent to Spain’s PM, Pedro Sánchez, the OMCT Secretary General, Gerald Staberock, demands that their sentences be suspended until the Constitutional Court rules on their appeal, which was accepted for consideration on May 6.
Staberock calls on the Spanish state to respect the people’s freedom of expression and assembly enshrined in international treaties that have been adopted by Spain.
“Based on the analysis of the facts, the course of the trial and the content of Judgment No. 459/2019, two elements are of particular concern. The first of these is that the Supreme Court’s ruling violated Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez’s individual rights. The verdict also sets a precedent that could negatively impact the effective enjoyment of the right to freedom of assembly in Spain,” says the anti-torture organization.
Staberock also calls for modification of the crime of sedition in a way that “establishes safeguards against possible restrictions to the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”
Cuixart and Sànchez were convicted for sedition by the Spanish Supreme Court in October 2019 for their roles in a peaceful demonstration in 2017.