24 Nobel Prize winners from different fields have denounced the "scenes of police brutality" seen in Catalonia to try and prevent the 1st October referendum in a letter to the European Commission in which they also call for negotiation.
In the letter, entitled An Open Letter to Spain and Catalonia, the Nobel laureates call for "mediation and negotiations" to try and resolve the "current standoff". The letter was initially unveiled on 8th October, signed by 8 Nobel Peace Prize winners, who have now be joined by 16 others of all the different categories. The signatories say that neither of the two sides is "free of errors" in a conflict which, in their opinion, didn't start with the 1st October referendum and police repression, rather "seven years ago with the Constitutional Tribunal invalidation of the 2010 autonomy statute passed by the Spanish Parliament".
The prizewinners regret that "little has been done" by Madrid to solve the conflict with Catalonia, they would "not have predicted the extreme and unhelpful measures" they have turned to. They are especially critical of the "scenes of police brutality, violence and the use of rubber bullets against the Catalonian people" which they wouldn't have "expected to see in today's Spain". They add their voices to "leaders around the world" in criticising this use of force.
The Nobel winners do not take a position on constitutional questions, but say that "mature" democracies "find ways to allow freedom of expression", citing the referendums in Scotland and Quebec and noting that in both cases the 'no' campaign won.
The winners who have signed the letter so far are Jody Williams (Peace), Mairead Maguire (Peace), Betty Williams (Peace), Sheldon Glashow (Physics), Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (Peace), Yuan T. Lee (Chemistry), Dudley R. Herschbach (Chemistry), Robert Huber (Chemistry), Rigoberta Menchu (Peace), Frederik Willem de Klerk (Peace), Richard J. Roberts (Medicine), José Ramos Horta (Peace), Peter C. Doherty (Medicine), Gunter Blobel (Medicine), Tim Hunt (Medicine), Shirin Ebadi (Peace), Peter Agre (Chemistry), Elfriede Jlinek (Literature), J. Robin Warren (Medicine), Jean Marie Gustave Le Clezio (Literature), Jack W. Szostak (Medicine), Tawakkol Karman (Peace), Leymah Gbowee (Peace), Bengt Holmstrom (Economics).
24 Nobel open letter to Spain and Catalonia: “We condemn violence and support the calls for negotiations”. pic.twitter.com/G6Jq4kGZFa— Exteriors Catalunya (@exteriorscat) 20 octobre 2017