Amnesty International has called for the release of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, taken into pretrial detention a year ago tomorrow. In a statement, the organisation's campaigns director for Europe, Fotis Filippou, says that "there's no reason" to keep them in pretrial detention and restates AI's call for them to be released "immediately". "Amnesty International believes that their ongoing detention represents a disproportionate restriction of their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly," he adds.
What's more, in the same statement, the human rights NGO expresses regret that the Supreme Court should have recently rejected two appeals for their release and that the Constitutional Court should have declined on three occasions to provisionally suspend the pretrial detention of former ANC leader and current Parliament deputy Jordi Sànchez. "Instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to bring an end to the detentions, the legal authorities have perpetuated this injustice," he says.
In the same statement, the NGO also says that "according to Amnesty International's information, the charges against them both are unfounded and should be withdrawn". They note that "if it can be shown" that they called for demonstrators to block the police operation on 20th September 2017 at the Catalan economy ministry, that could constitute a crime of public disorder. "But accusing them of charges as serious as rebellion or sedition and holding them for a year is disproportionate," they conclude.
The Supreme Court says the pair are accused of using their positions within the ANC and Òmnium respectively to "mobilise hundreds of thousands of followers and promote a mass of people to oppose the police's obligation to prevent the illegal referendum".