Authoritarian Spanish state ‘unmasked again’ – Gavan
Speaking in the Seanad earlier today, Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan called on the Spanish state to end its suppression of Catalonian democracy.
Senator Gavan said:
“What we have witnessed since the successful outcome of the Catalonian referendum is the unmasking of the authoritarian Spanish state; from its rejection of the democratic will of the Catalonian people, to its use of brutal violence to suppress civil rights, to locking up its political leaders.
“The Spanish state is now abusing its judicial institutions in order to prosecute innocent political leaders which it perceives to be a threat to its law and order. The Judicial system is no place for political conflicts to be resolved.
“Political differences are resolved through dialogue and the ballot box – which is exactly what the Catalan people did when they democratically voted for independence.
“The continued repression of Catalonian democracy is reprehensible and counterproductive.
“The arrest of Charles Puidgemont, and the violent response of the Spanish police to the protests that followed, has highlighted that the Spanish government is firmly wedded to aggression.
“Sinn Féin condemns this action taken against five Catalonian Ministers to pre-trial prison, and we call on the state to drop all charges against Mr Puidgemont and for the immediate release of those five ministers.
“The actions of the Spanish government will only serve to deepen the crisis.
“The dispute between the people of Catalonia and the Spanish state over independence will not be resolved through incarceration and violence.
“The Spanish state’s mask has slipped, exposing its institutionalised authoritarianism and anti-democratic nature. And by doing so, it has also exposed the European Union’s lack of empathy and desire for effective human rights within the EU.
“The European Union has a duty to move with urgency. It must show leadership in convincing the Spanish government that dialogue and mediation is the only way to resolve the crisis.”v