Amnesty International: "Jordi Sànchez must be released immediately"

The NGO’s director believes it is "disproportionate"o keep the former ANC leader in prison

Amnesty International raised its voice on Tuesday against the decision of Supreme Court justice Pablo Llarena to keep Jordi Sànchez in prison. In a statement, the organization for human rights disagreed with Llarena's motives, who considered that "the risk of reoffending [by the former ANC president and Junts per Catalunya representative] persists", among other reasons because Sànchez’s "political views remain unchanged" in a context in which there are "sectors" that still defend unilateral secession. Thus, the director of the organization, Gauri Van Gulik, expressed the view that it is "excessive and disproportionate” for Jordi Sànchez to remain in custody.

"Instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to put an end to his detention, the Supreme Court has aggravated this injustice", said Van Gulik: "Jordi Sànchez must be released immediately". In Amnesty International's opinion, Llarena's resolution does not provide new elements to justify holding Sànchez on remand any longer. In addition, it considers that the charges of sedition and rebellion against Sànchez and Cuixart "are unjustified and, therefore, they must be withdrawn".

Thus, Amnesty International believes that "even though calling for protests to block legitimate police operations could be, if actually proven to have occurred, a punishable crime against public order, it does not constitute a serious crime such as sedition or rebellion, which can carry a prison sentence of up to 10 and 30 years".

The right to express opinions contrary to a court of law

Amnesty International does not question the September 7th Constitutional Court ruling that suspended, as a precautionary measure, the Catalan referendum law. Nevertheless, it believed that "as individual citizens and presidents of civil society organizations at the time of the events being investigated, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart have the right to express opinions contrary to the Court's decisions, as well as to organize peaceful gatherings in support of the referendum and the independence of Catalonia".

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