A leak from the website of Amnesty International's Swiss branch has revealed, 72 hours ahead of the official announcement, that on Tuesday the human rights organization will release a document calling for the immediate release of the two Catalan pro-independence civil society leaders, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, and also taking a strongly critical stance on the rulings issued by the Spanish Supreme Court in their case, and in particular, the 100-year total prison sentence and the charges of sedition. After a month of analysis by Amnesty International - an organization that defines itself as global and independent, with more than 7 million members in more than 150 countries, which acts against injustice defending human rights around the world - the leaked French-language text is unequivocal and represents another defeat for Spanish justice.
Amnesty's communication occurs in a context in which international human rights organizations have already unleashed a tremendous outcry over October's Supreme Court ruling and indeed last Thursday the international observer group which monitored the trial presented its definitive report with a tough final conclusion on the violations of rights which took place during the hearing. The International Trial Watch platform concludes that there was a clear break with the principle of constitutional legality, as well as violations of criminal law, the right to liberty, freedom of expression, ideological freedom, and the rights to peaceful assembly, political participation and a trial with full guarantees.
If to all these international condemnations one adds the slip-ups made by Spanish justice whenever it has presented an extradition order or a call for the immediate detention of the pro-independence leaders living abroad; or one considers, to take an example close at hand, the position of the European Union's advocate general on the MEP status of Oriol Junqueras and by extension, predictably, of Carles Puigdemont and Toni Comín - and from January on, Clara Ponsatí as well - the isolation of Spanish justice only reinforces the idea that the trial consisted very much of giving exemplary punishments, and very little of justice.
It's worth considering all this because on Monday a new episode begins with the trial in the Catalan High Court of Catalan president Quim Torra for leaving a banner hanging on the Catalan government palace. The objective is none other than to disqualify him from office for contempt of court and, in practice, to alter the Catalan legislature. Thus, Spanish justice continues with president Torra the path it had already begun with his predecessors Puigdemont and Mas, and its failure is in sight. Perhaps someone in the Spanish government should make an assessment of cost and benefits before continuing along this path if it wants to vote in Pedro Sánchez as new Spanish prime minister with pro-independence party support.