Persecution of the Catalan Pro-Independence Movement over the 2017 Self-Determination Referendum Goes On

Earlier this week, a court in Barcelona confirmed the indictment of 29 Catalan government officials and businesspeople for their role in the preparations for the 2017 independence referendum. They are accused of disobedience, misuse of public funds, abuse of office, and document falsification.

The same court also decided to close the inquiries into 19 other people and rejected the request to try three more people: the Director of the Catalan Data Protection Authority, Maria Àngels Barbarà; the former Director-General of Dissemination of the Catalan Government, Ignasi Genovès and the Director of Services of the Department of the Presidency, Teresa Prohias.

The persecuted include:

– Albert Royo: Secretary-General of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (Diplocat).

– Aleix Villatoro: Secretary-General at the International Actions, Institutional Relations, and Transparency Ministry.

– Antoni Molons: Secretary of Broadcasting and Citizen Assistance at the Catalan Presidency Department.

– Joaquim Nin: Secretary-General at the Catalan Presidency Department.

– Josep Ginesta: Secretary-General at the Catalan Work, Social Affairs, and Family Ministry.

– Saül Gordillo: Director of Catalunya Ràdio.

– Amadeu Altafaj: Director of the Catalan Government’s Delegation to the European Union.

– Núria Llorach: Vice-President of the Catalan Audiovisual Media Corporation (CCMA).

List of all persecuted and accusations:

– Marta Garsaball Pujol: misuse of public funds, disobedience, document falsification, and abuse of office.

– Aleix Villatoro Oliver: misuse of public funds, disobedience, and abuse of office.

– Rosa Vidal Planella: misuse of public funds, disobedience, and document falsification.

– Joaquim Nin Borredà: misuse of public funds, disobedience, and abuse of office.

Amadeu Altafaj Tardio: misuse of public funds and abuse of office.

Albert Royo Mariné: misuse of public funds and document falsification.

Manuel Manonelles Tarragó: misuse of public funds, disobedience, and abuse of office.

Ignasi Genovés Avellana: misuse of public funds, disobedience, and abuse of office.

Teresa Prohías Ricart: misuse of public funds, disobedience, and abuse of office.

Antoni Molons Garcia: misuse of public funds and abuse of office.

Francesc Sutrías Grau: misuse of public funds and disobedience.

Pablo Raventós: misuse of public funds and disobedience.

Francesc Fabregas Bonet: misuse of public funds and disobedience.

Jaume Clotet Planas: misuse of public funds.

Josep Ginesta Vicente: misuse of public funds.

David Palanques Bonavia: misuse of public funds.

David Franco Sánchez: misuse of public funds.

Natalia Garriga Ibáñez: misuse of public funds.

Rosa M. Rodríguez Curto: misuse of public funds.

Josué Sallent: misuse of public funds.

Xavier Puig Farré: misuse of public funds.

Vicent Sanchís Llacer: disobedience.

Saül Gordillo Benárdez: disobedience.

Núria Llorach Boladeras: disobedience.

Frederic Udina Abelló: disobedience.

Martí Patxot: disobedience.

Mercedes Martínez: disobedience.

Joan Manel Gómez Sanz: disobedience.

Josep Masolivé Puig: disobedience.

The Catalan Council for the Republic Makes the New Digital Identity System Available for the Next Government of Catalonia

The new digital identity system launched by the Council for the Republic last week aims to be a tool for the next Catalan government to disconnect from the Spanish state. This is considered a state structure out of the reach of Spain where the new Catalan state should start to be built. Over 15,000 people have already joined the initiative.

The new ID has an identifying QR code that allows people to “join and access the services of companies from all over the Catalan Countries.” NGO’s, companies, unions and associations are currently negotiating their integration in the system that also aims to create “social cohesion, collective awareness and sovereign spaces that empower citizens.”

The success of the new identification system will be determined by the number of people and organizations that join and operate this new structure, which could replace the Spanish National ID in the future if there is ever a new attempt to create the Catalan republic.

The new ID will cost six euros for the digital format with a QR code and twelve for the physical card, which is made of bamboo, a biodegradable material.

Council for the Republic

The Catalan Council for the Republic is an institution that aims to “promote political, social, cultural and economic activities aimed at the establishment of an independent state in Catalonia in the form of a republic.” It currently has around 96,000 members and is growing every day. The only requirement to join the Council is to be at least 16 years old, to prove your identity, and to make a contribution of a minimum of 10 euros.

Scandal: Over 50,000 Missing Vaccines Were Given to the Spanish Army

The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, has admitted that over 50,000 missing vaccine doses from Pfizer and AstraZeneca were given to the Army: 36,100 AstraZeneca jabs and 19,500 Pfizer jabs. She had declined to give explanations publicly as to the exact number of doses, their destination, or why these vaccines did not appear in the official records for weeks.

The vaccination protocols are clear and the military personnel who have received the vaccine do not match the target population requirements: the use of the different Covid-19 vaccines is set by age groups, and the order in the vaccination schedule is based on priority groups.

The first to receive vaccines in the Spanish state were elderly people living in nursing homes along with medical and care home personnel. Only 3,340 military personnel matched those requirements out of over 50,000 doses given to them, so the Ministry of Defense and the Spanish government broke their own protocols at a time when the vaccination in nursing homes and those over 80 had not been completed yet.

It should be remembered that the Pfizer vaccine is specified as being exclusively for administration to health workers, the elderly people in nursing homes, those over 70 age and people with a high degree of dependency.

This controversy over the vaccine distribution is the second Covid scandal to puncture the Spanish Army and the Health Ministry.

Spain’s former chief of defense, Miguel Ángel Villarroya, was vaccinated against Covid-19 before it was his turn. Villarroya resigned. Nevertheless, the Minister of Defense, Robles appointed him as a member of the Royal and Military Order of Saint Hermenegild, of the Air Force, and assigned him to Washington.

The Council of Europe Denounces the “Retaliation and Intimidation” by Spain against Jordi Cuixart, a Catalan pro-Independence Human Rights Defender

The Council of Europe denounces the continued suffering of the Catalan political prisoner and President of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart. This was stated in a report written by the General Rapporteur of Human Rights Defenders of the Council of Europe, Alexandra Louis, after Jordi Cuixart’s situation was analyzed by the Committee of Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Body, where his treatment was equated with that of other human rights defenders imprisoned in countries of dubious democratic quality such as Turkey and Azerbaijan.

The report states that “the trial against Cuixart was political in nature, and he should not have been tried by the Supreme Court, which has jurisdiction to try elected officials and not activists of civil society like him.” The rapporteur also pointed out that Cuixart is the president of “an association that promotes civil and cultural rights in Catalonia that was founded in 1961 under the Franco dictatorship.”

Louis also affirms that she will “continue to pay close attention to the work of the institutions of the Council of Europe.”

“I will also oversee the work of other international organizations on this issue and alert the committee and the Assembly to new cases of violations of the rights of human rights defenders and all new initiatives aimed at protecting them,” she stated.

Reprisals and intimidation

The rapporteur says that examples such as Cuixart’s show that “human rights defenders are still suffering reprisals and intimidation, and that their situation has not improved, but has even worsened in certain European member states,” comparing it with the situation in Turkey.

Arbitrary Judiciary

In 2018, the GRECO group (Group of State against Corruption of the Council of Europe) stated that Spain has a problem of judicial independence, and the human rights advisers of this body have also questioned the proportionality of the Judgment in Democracy.

International call for Cuixart’s release

Prestigious institutions and entities have called for the release of Jordi Cuixart. The list includes: Amnesty International, the World Organization Against Torture, Front Line Defenders, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, the Association of European Democratic Lawyers, the International Commission of Jurists, and the International PEN, among others. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention also questioned the allegations against Cuixart and his imprisonment, while calling for his release and for the Spanish government to open an investigation into his imprisonment. Still within the framework of the United Nations, the High Commissioner for Human Rights and three Special Rapporteurs, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, and the Special Rapporteur on Minorities.

In addition, there have been many political, social, and cultural figures from around the world who have expressed support for Jordi Cuixart and called for his release. The manifesto made public at the beginning of the year stands out around fifty internationally known figures ask for amnesty for all those against whom the Spanish state retaliated. It was signed by Dilma Rousseff, Gerry Adams, Yoko Ono, Ai Wei Wei and five Nobel laureates: Shirin Ebadi, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Jody Williams, Mairead Corrigan, and Elfriede Jelinek.