Catalan Pro-independence MP and Parliament Bureau Member Disqualified over Yellow Ribbons

The High Court of Justice (TSJC) has sentenced the pro-independence MP and Parliament Bureau member, Pau Juvillà (CUP), to a 6-month ban from holding public office and a fine of €1,080. He is accused of disobedience for not removing a few yellow ribbons from his office when he was a councilor of the Lleida City Hall in 2019.

Yellow ribbons have represented solidarity with political prisoners and exiles since 2017, when Catalonia organized a self-determination referendum, which was repressed by the Spanish state.

The unionist Ciudadanos party filed a complaint against Juvillà to the Electoral board for displaying what they described as partisan symbols, though they represented the whole society, during an electoral period. The councilor refused to take them down and the police eventually did it.

During the trial, Juvillà alleged that, as a councilor of the Lleida City Hall, he did not take down the ribbons, so as not to self-censor or injure ideological freedom.

The public prosecutor had requested an 8-month disqualification from public office as well as a €1,440-fine. Due to Juvillà becoming an MP in the Catalan Parliament following the February 14 elections, the case had to be tried in the High Court.

The CUP party reacted to the ruling, demanding a “clear, forceful and joint response” from Parliament against repression and “defending the sovereignty of the chamber and elected officials.” The far-left party wants to use all judicial approaches available and will present an appeal to the Supreme Court, and also plans to take the case to Strasbourg.

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