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The government of Catalonia enters prison today as part of a judicial process in which they are accused of rebellion as a result of the proclamation of the Catalan Republic. This is a devastating event which reminds us of other dramatic moments in our history. As well as the preventive imprisonment of the vice-president, seven ministers and one ex-minister, the rest of the Catalan government and president Carles Puigdemont are in Belgium, awaiting an international arrest warrant. To complete the picture, next week, the speaker of the Parliament of Catalonia and five members of the chamber's Board will also have to appear in court facing similar accusations. The country's principle authorities and the leaders of two large civil organisations have been the target of repressive measures which open ominous prospects.

For the good of democracy and peace, the members of the legitimate government of Catalonia must be released and, together with those in exile, must be allowed to resume their roles. The sovereign operation of the Parliament of Catalonia must be returned to normal. The proceedings open against hundreds of Catalan mayors, public officials and other citizens must be closed. And the episodes of violence against the civil population like those on 1st October during the referendum must not be repeated.

International institutions must accept that Catalonia is a nation, that it is not a fabrication and that its legitimate requests for a democratic process to resolve its conflict with the Spanish state must be answered. The Catalan nation will not be silenced with repressive measures. It's necessary for all democratic and national rights to be respected in a context of civility and tolerance.

We are publishing this article alongside the following of our media colleagues:

El Nacional
El Punt Avui
Ara
Nació Digital
Vilaweb
Directe
El Temps
Racó Català
El Vallenc
Nova Conca
Revista Esguard
L'Opció
Sàpiens
Descobrir
El Món
Tot Sant Cugat
Tot Cerdanyola
Tot Rubí
El Món Terrassa
Revista Mirall

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