Spain: pre-trial detention of two men in Catalan 'sedition' case is disproportionate

Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cruixat have already been in detention for nearly three weeks

Call for sedition charge to be dropped 

Amnesty International is concerned at today’s decision by a Spanish judge to maintain the pre-trial detention of Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cruixat, presidents of the Catalan National Assembly and Omnium Cultural. 

The pair are charged with sedition under article 544 of the Spanish Criminal Code in connection with protests they organised in Barcelona on 21 and 21 September. Both were imprisoned on 16 October.

On 18 October, Amnesty said that the prosecution of Sánchez and Cuixart for a crime as serious as sedition and their pre-trial detention were excessive restrictions of their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. It asked the authorities to drop this charge and immediately release them, and it repeats that request today.

Esteban Beltrán, Director of Amnesty International Spain, said: 

“We recognise that the state can impose restrictions on the exercise of the freedom of expression, but these must always be proportionate and use the least intrusive instrument. 

“To apply pre-trial detention in this case is disproportionate and the decision taken today is therefore a step in the wrong direction.”

Amnesty remains concerned at the charges of sedition against Sánchez and Cruixat, as this crime is defined very broadly in Spain to cover a wide range of acts and could carry a penalty of ten years in jail.
 

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