A delegation of seven MEPs has travelled this Tuesday to Estremera prison near Madrid to denounce the prison authorities for not having allowed them to visit Catalan vice-president and head of ERC's election candidacy, Oriol Junqueras, nor the other imprisoned Catalan leaders.
Un grup d'eurodiputats hem anat a Estremera per visitar @junqueras i @quimforn i no ens han permès l'entrada. Hem fet tot els tràmits des de fa un mes i ni ens han contestat. Inacceptable. #LlibertatPresosPolítics pic.twitter.com/12Xi2fu9wZ— Josep-M. Terricabras (@jmterricabras) 19 de diciembre de 2017
Translation: A group of MEPs, we've gone to Estremera to visit Junqueras and [Interior minister] Joaquim Forn and they haven't let us in. We went through all the steps a month ago and they haven't even replied to us. Unacceptable.
Although the MEPs had "repeatedly" requested to visit the "political prisoners" over a period of weeks, the administration has placed "bureaucratic obstacles" to block such a visit. According to ERC MEP Josep-Maria Terricabras, in fact, they haven't even responded to the request, something he believes to be "unacceptable".
@JunckerEU @TimmermansEU @mariannethyssen, why are we not allowed to see the Catalan prisoners @junqueras and @quimforn here in Estremera, Madrid? This can’t be the EU of democratic values and rights you have in mind, can it? Can I have an answer? pic.twitter.com/rKZTlSEe0x— Mark Demesmaeker (@markdemesmaeker) 19 de diciembre de 2017
Among the MEPs who went to Estremera prison were Mark Demesmaeker (ECR) from Belgium, Marie-Pierre Vieu (GUE-NGL) and José Bové (Greens-EFA) from France, and Tatjana Zdanoka (EFA) from Latvia. They were accompanied by Catalan ERC MEPs Jordi Solé and Josep-Maria Terricabras (EFA) and PDeCAT MEP Ramon Tremosa (ALDE). All of them took photographs with their passports at the prison gates and denounced not being allowed in.
The MEPs' act coincided with another held outside the prison by ERC to denounce the imprisonment of their leader, Oriol Junqueras, with just hours left to the end of the election campaign.