Earlier this week, the Spanish public prosecutor took to the Supreme Court a lower court’s decision to provisionally keep an open prison regime for the nine jailed Catalan leaders Carme Forcadell, Dolors Bassa, Jordi Cuixart, Oriol Junqueras, Josep Rull, Raül Romeva, Jordi Turull, Jordi Sànchez and Joaquim Forn.
The nine political prisoners obtained the “low” prison category status in late January, allowing them to leave jail during the day, sleep in their cells at night, and go home on weekends, after over three years behind bars.
It’s the second time the Catalan leaders have seen their prison privileges taken before the Supreme Court. Their low category status was already revoked two months ago.
In this new appeal, the prosecutor is confident that the Supreme Court will overturn the penitentiary court judge’s decision and order the re-imprisonment of the political prisoners. The prosecutor considers the arguments presented by the judge of the penitentiary court in favor of the maintenance of their privileges to be “erroneous” and claims that they should not apply while serving a sentence for sedition. The Supreme Court, which has a conservative majority, has always accepted the prosecutor’s demands. There are no signs it will be any different this time either.
The pro-independence movement has interpreted this move as a punishment for getting historic results in the last Catalan elections, surpassing 50% of the popular vote for the first time, with 52%.
It is also seen as interference in the ongoing negotiations between the pro-independence parties, ERC, Junts and CUP, for the formation of a new government in which CUP, an anti-capitalist party, could assume institutional responsibilities for the first time, something the Spanish establishment, the deep state and government are trying to prevent by any means.
Whether the Spanish government and the deep state will be able to prevent a pro-independence government in Catalonia is still to be seen, but in the meantime, with each act of interference, the pro-independence movement appears to be stronger.