A new complaint has been filed with the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights against the violation of human rights in Catalonia by the Spanish state during last year's 1st October referendum. The complaint has been brought by the Col·lectiu Praga, an association legal scholars and signed by 650 jurists from around Spain.
The report enumerates the actions that Mariano Rajoy's government has taken against Catalonia, its institutions and citizens, like, for example, going through the courts to avoid negotiating with Catalan representatives, the repression "with serious violations of rights and liberties" and the suspension of Catalan autonomy, among many others.
After reviewing the day of the referendum, how it came about and what happened afterwards, the association notes that the Spanish executive called an election in Catalonia using article 155 of the Spanish Constitution and that, even so, it hasn't taken the result into account, the expressed wishes of the millions of Catalans who voted on 21st December.
For these reasons, they ask the commissioner to carry out "a full, independent investigation", above all, into the rights of freedom of expression and assembly, of election, of not being discriminated against for political opinions, to freedom, to fair trial, to appeal and the preparation of defence, rights which are included in the European Convention on Human Rights.
Not only that. They also demand the "banning of degrading treatment" and defend the principle of legality, one of the most important principles in criminal law, which says that there cannot be any crime or punishment without non-retrospective laws, which they say is not met in this case.
They believe that the charges on crimes of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds "are unsustainable given the literal contents of the criminal law and the consolidated jurisprudence on such crimes" because, they say, "it doesn't meet the standards of 'foreseeability' and 'strict' interpretation in criminal cases demanded by the European Court of Human Rights".
The report lists point-by-point every action which shows a violation of these rights, giving the corresponding articles of the relevant laws.