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Imprisonment of Catalan leaders an affront to democracy - Mary Lou McDonald TD

14 October, 2019 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has said this morning that the imprisonment of nine Catalan leaders, including the former Vice President of Catalonia Oriol Junqueras, is an “affront to democracy”.

Teachta McDonald said:

“The referendum on Catalan independence in October 2017 should have been a triumph for democracy, no matter what the result was. Sadly, in its aftermath the world witnessed shocking scenes of Spanish police brutality in various parts of Catalonia that day.

“Peaceful citizens who were protecting the integrity of polling stations were struck down and savagely beaten, with over 900 people injured.

“Since then, the Spanish State has behaved disgracefully and in the most anti-democratic manner possible by pursuing political leaders on trumped up, politically motivated charges for their alleged role in facilitating that referendum.

“We now have a situation today where nine of those individuals have been imprisoned on charges of rebellion and sedition for up to thirteen years for pursuing purely peaceful and democratic means in pursuit of Catalan self-determination.

“The Catalan independence movement is a legitimate political movement and must be respected by the Spanish state.

“What has happened today is an affront to democracy and should be condemned by all democrats and political leaders throughout Europe.

“It’s time to end the wall of silence on Catalonia.”

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