Council of Europe must address Spanish State abuse of human rights - Senator Paul Gavan
Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan has called on the Council of Europe to address the serious abuse of human rights at the hands of the Spanish State with regard to Catalonia.
Speaking on a report on “Protecting Human Rights Defenders in Council of Europe Member States” Senator Gavan welcomed the overall report but asked the rapporteur “How did you miss what is going on in Catalonia?”
“Former Ministers, MP’s and civil society activists remain in prison after the Spanish Governments crackdown on political activists who advocated holding a democratic referendum on Catalan independence.
“There are currently nine political prisoners jailed and awaiting trials for ‘rebellion’ for organising last year’s independence referendum. Some have been held in pre-trial detention for more than seven months and they each face up to thirty years in prison.
“Seven are politicians and two are civil society activists. There have been major crackdowns on free speech with rappers, artists and social media users being jailed for ‘terrorism’ for song lyrics and for posting tweets.”
Concluding his contribution to the debate Senator Gavan said;
“When we speak of the importance of protecting human rights defenders we need to talk about Catalonia.”