Read in Catalan

This Monday, and especially this Tuesday, Spain's Congress and Senate will see a situation unheard of in any democracy which takes pride in itself: four deputies and a senator elected on 28th April from Junts per Catalunya and Esquerra Republicana will leave Soto del Real prison, first to collect their credentials as parliamentarians, then on Tuesday to fulfil the duties they were elected to. An exceptional situation, the result of an exceptional trial which is underway in the Supreme Court, for whom the successive applications for release on bail filed by the lawyers of Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull and Raül Romeva haven't been good enough, all rejected by the second chamber headed by ​Manuel Marchena.

Whilst all of this was happening, nobody was asking themselves in Madrid how this situation could be possible. So the Cortes are going to get a dramatic reality check. Political prisoners and parliamentarians are going to be able to look each other in the eyes after all the atrocities we've heard during the long detention they will get to leave for a few hours. A provisional release which is far from respecting the popular will of the electorate and which places, obviously, the state in an uncomfortable situation.

Jailers and prisoners looking each other in the eyes after the approval of that article 155 opened Pandora's box and a persecution without quarter began against the pro-independence leaders, as did a general legal case against the whole movement. Despite this, the independence movement continues to win elections in Catalonia, as Esquerra Republicana did on 28th April, and now five of the prisoners are in the Parliament. It's much easier to spend hours of debate on whether Iceta could be an autonomous community senator or not and on the nominations of Meritxell Batet and Manuel Cruz as speakers of the Congress and Senate than on a democratic anomaly like that of the political prisoners not being released to fully exercise all their rights and carry out the roles they were elected to.

A debate of this kind would give, certainly, a spark of hope. The five political prisoners arriving in a prison van into the car parks under the Congress and Senate from Soto del Real doesn't. This gesture only shows the face of repression, not that of politics.