The international observers of the 1st October trial issued their latest report before the ruling detailing all they saw happening at the Spanish Supreme Court. It consists of 13 individual reports, one from each observer, who present their opinions on a personal level and without the intervention of the International Trial Watch platform, which was responsible for organising the attendance and had issued the official reports so far.
The document published includes the reports of 13 observers from different countries who have attended trial sessions at the Supreme. In the text, they denounce the violations of rights suffered by prisoners and the reprisals observed during the development of the judicial process in the high court presided by Manuel Marchena.
The authors of the reports are John Philpot (Canada) - independent, Paul Newman (India) - independent, Bill Bowring (United Kingdom) - European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights, Jelle Klaas (Netherlands) - Nederlands Juristen Comité Voor De Mensenrechten, Patrizio Gonella and Susanna Marietti (Italy) - Antigone, Matthieu Cretenand (Switzerland) - Independent, Cécile Brandely (France) - Saf (AED), Claire Dujardin (France) - Saf (AED), Ernesto Moreau (Argentina) - Association American of Jurists, Sahar Francis (Palestine) - Addameer, Cristina Servan Melero (Cádiz) - Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía, Ramón Campos García y Ana Sebastián Gascón (Zaragoza) - Free Association of Lawyers and Lawyers of Zaragoza, and Joseba Belaustegi Cuesta (Basque Country) - Decision-makers, Jurists for the Right to Decide.
"The essence of this trial is to criminalize the exercise of civil and political rights," denounces John Philpot in his report, where he also criticizes that "The Spanish state is treating these twelve politicians and social leaders fundamentally as a single criminal organisazion as if they were drug traffickers or an organised crime syndicate."
"Spain has to recognize that the Catalans exercised their right to freedom of association, right to vote, and the right to self-determination," asks Paul Newman. In the same vein, Jelle Klaas, who focuses his argument in the case of Jordi Cuixart, says "Arresting, detaining and prosecuting Cuixart and asking 17 years in prison for, in essence, the fact that he made use of his human rights to protest and freedom of speech is wrong and has a chilling effect on all people who want to speak their minds." "This could also harm the proper functioning of the rule of law based democratic society," he warns.
Ernesto Moreau, of the American Association of Jurists, refers to the "parallel investigations" carried out by other courts and that "were reserved for the defendants". "The worst issue is that a small portion of the evidence was discriminated against by the prosecution and incorporated by the instruction (audios, videos, etc.) without the defenses being able to control it or incorporate the fragments of these partial tests," he denounced.
Sahar Francis of the Defense and Human Rights Association Addameer, an expert in the defense of Palestinian political prisoners in the military courts, comes to assure that "some of these practices [witnessed at the Supreme Court] are very similar to those of the military prosecution of the occupation". It provides the example of the definition of crimes and the use of classified materials.