Catalan prisoners: cold cells, yellow garments seized, computers and El Jueves confiscated

The Speaker of the Catalan parliament has criticized the State's "sick obsession" with "persecuting a movement"

Roger Torrent, the Speaker of the Catalan parliament, has denounced the State's "sick obsession" with "persecuting a political movement" after the Soto del Real prison authorities seized the prisoners’ yellow garments and any family photos showing yellow ribbons [a symbol of solidarity with the Catalan prisoners]. He also explained that some copies of El Jueves, a satyrical weekly, were confiscated."When we get to this sick obsession, the problem is not just for independence supporters, but for all democrats," he said in a statement to the media after visiting the seven male defendants.

Torrent explained that the penitentiary banned these symbols due to their "partisan and ideological" nature, which is why he said the trial that will begin next week "will not be a fair trial, because it is tainted by the persecution of an ideology". In this regard, he assured that the defendants will "accuse the State of trying to prevent a referendum using violence and of violating fundamental rights, and will defend legitimate views that we will never renounce."

The republican leader warned Spain that "it has a problem, if it thinks that putting the independence leaders on trial will resolve the conflict with Catalonia." In the same vein, he insisted on the position of his party and reiterated its refusal to support the budget of the Pedro Sánchez government through an amendment to the entire budgetary bill in the Spanish parliament.

"Extreme" conditions

Roger Torrent explained that the inmates of Soto del Real are held in "extreme" temperature conditions: "it is freezing cold and [the prison authorities] have not turned on the heating," he said, "which affects all the inmates." Regarding the laptops that the defendants had brought to prepare their defense, he noted that they had not yet been returned, although Penitentiary Institutions sources have indicated that they will be given back to them next Monday.

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