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Iceland has become the first foreign country to publicly communicate its concern to Spain over the trial of pro-independence Catalan leaders. The country's foreign affairs minister, Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, has "repeatedly" expressed their unease to Spanish authorities, he has told the newspaper Fréttablaðið (link in Icelandic).

"We have repeatedly expressed our concern to the Spanish authorities, most recently in January when the Icelandic ambassador to Spain attended a regular meeting at the Spanish foreign ministry. Catalan issues have also been repeatedly addressed with Spain's ambassador to Iceland, ”says Gudlaugur Thor.

The Icelandic government calls for them to look for a negotiated solution with full respect for human rights. "We will continue to monitor events closely and consult with our main international partners. I myself took up the question of Catalonia with Spain's then foreign minister last year when we met at the UN Human Rights Council, and the conversation has been continued by officials," he adds.

The newspaper also speaks with Olivier Peter, one of Jordi Cuixart's lawyers, who notes that the European Court of Human Rights has previously found against a number of Spanish judges for bias and that the head of the Supreme Court, Carlos Lesmes, was previously a member of José María Aznar's right-wing government.