A HUMAN rights NGO has called on Spanish authorities to release two Catalan pro-independence activists a year after they were jailed in connection with the region’s secession attempt.
Amnesty International said there was no justification for keeping Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart in custody ahead of their trial on rebellion charges. The charges levelled against the two are unfounded and should be dropped, the NGO added.
Fotis Filippou, of Amnesty International, said the ongoing detention of Sanchez and Cuixart unfairly restricted their rights to free speech and peaceful assembly.
“Instead of taking the opportunity to end the detention of Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, the judicial authorities have perpetuated this injustice,” Fillippou said.
The NGO’s comments come as the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court recently rejected two petitions calling for the release of the activists.
Spain’s Constitutional Court had also refused to provisionally suspend the detention of Sanchez at least three separate times, Amnesty International said.
Spain’s National Court ordered that Sanchez and Cuixart, the heads of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and the Omnium Cultural respectively, be remanded in custody last October.
The move followed the Catalan independence referendum in the same month, with the poll having been previously declared illegal by Spain’s Constitutional Court.
Judges probing the referendum charged to two activists with rebellion, citing their participation in the referendum and for calling on people to gather in front of government buildings last September.