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The unjust and, although expected, unbelievable decision by Spain's Supreme Court to keep Oriol Junqueras in prison without bail is a colossal hit to the rule of law. At least, to the rule of law based on legal decisions resting on the understanding of what is being ordered and what is being written. It's difficult to account for what, in twenty-seven pages, ends up being a compendium of hypotheses with no evidence beyond Junqueras's ideology and placing responsibility for the violence during the referendum on the vote's organisers and not on the police whose actions set it off.

The order, unanimously approved by the three magistrates of the court's Penal Chamber, is debatable, not just as any legal order affecting the safeguarding of the public's rights is, but also, in the case which concerns us, what for it involves in terms of an incursion by politics into the world of justice, starting with the Spanish government and continuing with the Attorney General. As such, whatever is not a crime in Belgium is withdrawn and it doesn't matter and, whether or not it's a crime in Spain, which will be decided by a trial in any case, ends up being so by the course of events and they turn to preventive detention.

The general impression is that, having failed in their attempt to prevent a pro-independence majority in the Catalan Parliament from the 21st December election, a phase has started in which the state, far from offering a solution to what the Catalans voted for, are trying to close off any and all alternatives there might be. Both for the return of president Puigdemont and the release of vice-president Junqueras.

Not just that: many people seem to be enjoying the "the worse, the better" strategy and the use of preventive detention, in practice, as a punishment. A kind of sentence without any process. In fact, the privation of his liberty is used spuriously to attribute him with conspiracies and quarrels in the independence movement and in his relationship (complex and via intermediaries) with Puigdemont.

Junqueras has been in prison since 2nd November (as has Joaquim Forn, the Jordis have been in longer); he's been prevented from carrying out an election campaign with the harm that means for his party, Esquerra; disagreements in the configuration of the new Catalan government are circulated through the usual media and his support for dialogue and bilaterality, expressed before the Supreme Court, is forgotten.

Now it's worth nothing, nobody listens when he declares himself to be a man of peace. Someone has decided that nor will there be enough with his humiliation.

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