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Spain’s Catalonia Declares Independence

Started by EvadingGrid, Jan 24, 2013, 12:01:45 PM

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Politically Charged Show Trial of Catalan Independence Supporters
By Stephen Lendman

What's billed as Spain's "trial of the century" began in Madrid before the nation's Supreme Court on Tuesday.

On trial are 12 activist Catalan politicians - falsely charged with rebellion, misuse of public funds, and civil disobedience.

They justifiably support the universal right of self-determination, shouldn't have been arrested, imprisoned, and forced to stand trial for backing the legitimate rights of the Catalan people.

Under international law, people everywhere have the right to choose their sovereignty and political status with no outside interference.

The UN Charter affirms "the principle of equal rights and self-determination of people..."

Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states:

"All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development."

Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states "(e)veryone has the right to a nationality (self-determination). No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his (or her) nationality nor denied the right to change his (or her) nationality."

Catalans, Spanish Basques, Kurds, Palestinians, Puerto Rican activists, and others elsewhere are entitled to seek self-determination, a fundamental principle under international law, regarded as jus cogens, a higher or compelling law.

In October 2017, Catalans overwhelming voted for independence by national referendum. Madrid and Spain's Constitutional Court refused to recognize the results, defying international law.

A dozen Catalan separatist officials are on trial, nationally televised proceedings likely to last several months. At stake is whether Spain's Supreme Court will uphold the legitimacy of self-determination, affirmed under international law. Results of the trial may affect other independence movements. Individuals on trial include illegally removed Catalan Vice President Oriol Junqueras, former Catalan parliament Speaker Carme Forcadell, activist politician Jordi Sanchez, activist Jordi Cuixart, along with eight former Catalan cabinet members.

Their politically charged trial is being held before a seven-judge Supreme Court panel, the court house heavily guarded, supporters of the defendants rallying outside, chanting and carrying signs saying: "Freedom for political prisoners."

A smaller rival group disgracefully called them "coup plotters." Defense attorney for two of the accused, Andreu Van den Eyndehe, told the court that his clients have the legal right to seek independence under international law, adding self-determination "is a synonym of peace, not of war."

If convicted, defendants face up to 25 years in prison - for pursuing the legal right of the Catalan people to seek self-determination.

Seven other former Catalan officials are in self-imposed exile to avoid facing unjust prosecution, including former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont.

In Berlin on Tuesday, he called the trial a "stress test" for Spain's democracy - like America in name only.

He also asked "why (the) European Union is more concerned by what is going on...in Venezuela than what is happening in Madrid," adding:

"My political activity will be based in Belgium for the sake of freedom and independence of Catalonia and its people and ensuring its fair claims."

The German High Court of Schleswig-Holstein state (where he was living in exile) ruled he could only be extradited if charged with misuse of public funds, rejecting the charge of rebellion against him because no evidence indicated that he intended to use force to seek Catalan independence.

German prosecutors still seek to extradite him to Spain. He's subject to arrest if forced back. He vowed to continue fighting to prove his innocence, adding the German court rejected "the main lie of the state" against him, ruling that Catalonia's self-determination referendum was not rebellion as Madrid claims.

Much rides on whether Spain's Supreme Court delivers the same ruling, along with hopefully rejecting other wrongful charges against Catalan separatists on trial.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: <a href="http://stephenlendman.org/"; target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">stephenlendman.org</a> (<a href="http://stephenlendman.org/"; target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Home - Stephen Lendman</a>). Contact at <a href="/cdn-cgi/l/email-protection#b5d9d0dbd1d8d4dbc6c1d0c5ddd0dbf5c6d7d6d2d9dad7d4d99bdbd0c1" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><span class="__cf_email__" data-cfemail="2d41484349404c435e59485d4548436d5e4f4e4a41424f4c4103434859">[email protected]</span></a>.

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."


Last Edit by Gladstone



Carles Puigdemont to be excluded from European elections

Puigdemont, who fled Spain to avoid arrest after his regional government's unilateral independence referendum in October 2017, intended to run as a candidate in the European parliament elections for the Together for Catalonia platform.

Also on the list are former Catalan education minister Clara Ponsatí, and Toni Comín, who was health minister in Puigdemont's administration. But it emerged on Monday that the electoral board had accepted a petition from the conservative People's party and centre-right Citizens party that the trio's candidacies be declared ineligible because all three are "fugitives" abroad.

Puigdemont and Comín are in Belgium, while Ponsatí is in Scotland. They face arrest in Spain for their alleged roles in the referendum and subsequent unilateral declaration of independence.

A spokesman for Puigdemont said an appeal would be launched.

"Together for Catalonia – Free for Europe intends to respond to this brazen violation of their fundamental right to stand as candidates by taking any necessary legal actions in Spain and Europe to defend the rights of all three candidates and the right of voters to cast their vote for this republican list," he said.'

Read More : Carles Puigdemont to be excluded from European elections


Last Edit by Gladstone


Tusk slammed for throwing shade at Moscow and ignoring the EU's own political prisoners

'Donald Tusk has been accused of hypocrisy for using the Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap to call on Moscow to "release all political prisoners," even though he doesn't feel the same way about Catalan leaders jailed in the EU.

Thirty-five Russians were exchanged for 35 Ukrainians in an agreement reached after a series of negotiations between Moscow and Kiev, with both sides welcoming Saturday's release.

The President of the European Council tweeted that the release of Ukrainian sailors "fills me with relief," adding, "I continue my call on Russia to release all political prisoners and respect Ukraine's territorial integrity."


Last Edit by Gladstone