French senator François Calvet believes that "Spain isn't a democracy as far as justice is concerned", given its treatment of the Catalan pro-independence prisoners on trial in Madrid. The senator made the remarks to a programme on France Bleu Roussillon.
Calvet admits that his position is different to that of his party, centre-right Les Républicains, but says that his "Catalan roots are more important". From Perpignan, he represents Pyrénées-Orientales in the senate, roughly equivalent to Northern Catalonia, territory ceded by Spain to France in 1659.
The senator is one of the 41 from different parties who signed a manifesto in March calling for "respect for freedoms and fundamental rights in Catalonia".
That text "condemn[s] the repression suffered by legitimate elected representatives, political representatives of the government of the Generalitat of Catalonia imprisoned or forced into exile due to their opinions" and describes the situation as a "veritable attack on democratic rights and freedoms".
The senators also expressed regret that "the gravity of the situation should be underestimated" in France and called on that country and the EU to "intervene to reestablish the conditions for dialogue in order to find political solutions to a political problem".