The Catalan political prisoners have this Thursday decided to end their hunger strike, after twenty days in the case of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Turull and seventeen for Josep Rull and Joaquim Forn. The announcement was made by their spokesperson, Pilar Calvo, at a press conference in Barcelona. She said that "the hunger strike has awoken the Constitutional Court", the aim with which they had begun their extreme protest.
Calvo explained that the prisoners believe that they've achieved their objectives, both in unblocking their appeals and making their situation more visible, for which reason they've decided to bring the protest to an end. "After a whole year of inaction, the Constitutional Court has opened the drawer where our filings had been condemned to be forgotten, and now the door to the European Court of Human Rights is opening for us", the prisoners write in a letter made public at the press conference.
In the letter they again express their thanks for all the support they've received, including the hundreds of thousands of letters that have arrived at Lledoners prison over these twenty days. "They've been our constant nourishment and the best company, together with the incorruptible and constant support from our families," they wrote. They also value having raised awareness of supporters of both independence and union, as well as of people beyond Catalonia and beyond Spain.
"We're more aware, as we had never been before, of the transformational and mobilisational capacity that each of us has inside ourselves", they continue, adding that "the hunger strike has made us stronger as people, and also we believe as a people, to face the times to come".
Loss of up to 11% body mass
According to Calvo, the prisoners have lost between 10 and 11% of their body mass over the last almost three weeks. They will all now be taken to a prison unit of a hospital in Terrassa for their recovery to be monitored. Their process of starting eating again could begin with liquids before returning to solid food.
Their spokesperson added that they "are well" and "very keen to return to normal food". She said that the decision to end the protest was made this Thursday morning and that, for the moment, they don't plan to start another. The prisoners describe it as an "exceptional action" in the face of an "exceptional situation which we cannot normalise" which has achieved its objectives.
Finally, in the letter (below), the prisoners restate their "commitment to non-violence" and urge members of the public have a "civil and peaceful attitude" which "overflows the streets of the capital of the country" during the protests planned to coincide with tomorrow's Spanish cabinet meeting in Barcelona. They say that the objective of their protests has been to "make heard, once again, the collective voice in favour of liberty, of the full exercise of basic rights and for the desire of the people of Catalonia for self-determination to be respected".