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The daughter of former Catalan interior minister Joaquim Forn, imprisoned in the case following last year's Catalan independence referendum, has today denounced "the clear political persecution of people who defend the right to self-determination" as well as violations of artists, singers and teachers' right to freedom of expression to the United Nations. Anna Forn called on the UN to advise the Spanish government over the case of Catalonia.

Forn was speaking before the 39th session of UN Human Rights Council on behalf of the Catalan Association for Human Rights, an organisation promoted by relatives of those suffering reprisals for their roles in the independence movement to denounce the violation of civil rights. She denounced her father's imprisonment, and that of eight other political leaders for having organised a referendum "in fulfilment of the electoral mandate derived from the election to the Parliament of Catalonia in September 2016 [sic]".

Pretrial detention

Forn was critical of the justice system having ordered pretrial detention without having considered, at any time, "more humanitarian" measures as an alternative. It is treating them, she said, "like terrorists, accusing them of crimes that it seems are only so in Spain". She also noted the decisions by German and Belgian courts against extradition requests issued by Spain in the case.

The minister's daughter says the situation is one of "maximal judicialisation" with the adoption of "disproportionate measures".

Release

During her speech, Anna Forn urged the Spanish government to give instructions for the prisoners' release and for them to "open the door to the dialogue repeatedly requested by national and international platforms".

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