Catalan Parliament Speaker opens direct line of communication with UN, calls for its involvement in Catalonia

In Geneva the Speaker of the House met with a senior official of the High Commission on Human Rights

On Wednesday morning, the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament Roger Torrent, met with members of the UN High Commission on Human Rights. Shortly before 9 am, Torrent arrived at a building near the United Nations headquarters in Geneva for his first meeting as part of his official trip to the Swiss capital, with a senior official of the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights, Mona Rishmawi, the highest-ranking official in Switzerland when the High Commissioner is away on special business, as was the case this Wednesday.

During the meeting, which lasted an hour and a half, the two parties agreed to keep the lines of communication open to ensure the Commission is informed of events in Catalonia, thus acquiring more accurate, up to date information on developments in the case. Roger Torrent stated that he has raised his concern as to the "violation" of fundamental rights which he claims is taking place in Catalonia and that he requested a meeting in order to find a "political solution to a political conflict" like that of Catalonia. The speaker stated that he found Rishmawi and other individuals in charge of entities related to Human Rights to be receptive to and interested in the case. Torrent was unwilling to disclose the names of the other people he met with, claiming that they had asked him to be "discrete".

Although Parliament has decided not to make public the schedule for Torrent’s visit, our sources claim that he is expected to meet with ERC’s secretary general, Marta Rovira, who has been in exile for a month. Torrent did reveal, however, that between Wednesday and Thursday he will be meeting with Swiss MPs, the mayor of Geneva and several Human Rights groups to discuss the situation in Catalonia.

According to the Catalan Parliament, the purpose of the Speaker’s visit to Geneva is to inform a number UN bodies, authorities and elected officials of the "violation of fundamental rights" of the Catalan people and their MPs, as a result of the frustrated attempts to elect Jordi Sànchez and Carles Puigdemont as president. The trip also took place after the UN pointed out the need for Spain to take the necessary steps in Sànchez’s case in order to guarantee his right to vote and stand as a candidate, whilst ensuring his political rights remain intact.

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