The coordinator of Amnesty International Catalunya, Adriana Ribas, has this Friday demanded the "immediate" release of former Catalan National Assembly president, now candidate to be president of Catalonia, Jordi Sànchez, and the president of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, and the withdrawal of the charges against them. Today marks five months since their imprisonment.
"We understand that the charges are disproportionate and unjustified", Ribas said in the Catalan Parliament after meeting with the chamber's speaker, Roger Torrent, for an hour and a half.
They discussed the question of human rights in Catalonia and the whole of Spain, with a special emphasis on the situation of Sànchez and Cuixart: "We communicated to him our concern over the attacks on freedom of expression and that we want their immediate release from pretrial detention and the withdrawal of charges".
When asked whether she considers Sànchez and Cuixart to be political prisoners, she replied that that doesn't fit within the terminology used by the entity, rather that Amnesty International prefers to speak of "prisoners of conscience".
"What we do understand is that the charges against them are disproportionate and unjustified", Ribas said, adding that Torrent expressed his full disposition to guarantee human rights.
About Amnesty International's evaluation of the situation of the other Catalan prisoners, vice-president Oriol Junqueras and interior minister Joaquim Forn, Ribas said that they "are following their cases to make sure that their fundamental rights are guaranteed". She said that it's too soon to determine whether they are prisoners of conscience or not.
Els representants d’@AmnistiaCAT presenten al #Parlament l’Informe Anual 2018 que recull la greu vulneració que estan patint els #DDHH i les llibertats fonamentals a Catalunya. Com a ciutadans aquesta regressió ens ha d’implicar a tots en la defensa dels nostres drets. pic.twitter.com/D2391jL4j7— Roger Torrent (@rogertorrent) 16 de març de 2018
Torrent tweeted about his meeting with Ribas and the member responsable for Institutional Relations for Amnesty International Catalunya, Eduard Martínez.
His tweet reads: Representatives of Amnesty International Catalunya present their 2018 Annual Report to the Parliament which gathers together the serious violations suffered by human rights and fundamental liberties in Catalonia. As citizens, this regression has to involve us all in the defence of our rights.