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The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has this Friday presented a report on its work on human rights violations to the Human Rights Council.

In May, the group had called for the immediate release of Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, and a few weeks later, it called on identical grounds for the release of Quim Forn, Raül Romeva, Josep Rull and Dolors Bassathe other four imprisoned Catalan pro-independence leaders who had taken their case to the UN. The Working Group's reports found that the imprisonment of the seven without granting of bail violates international rules, including parts of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Besides being released, the group said the seven Catalan leaders should be allowed "the right [to] compensation" and that the government should "carry out an exhaustive and independent investigation [...] and adopt the appropriate measures against those responsible for the violation of their rights".

The group also asked to visit Spain; it has not yet received a response. In today's hearing, any states included in the report had the right to respond. Although Spain had initially asked to participate, at the last moment it withdrew and made no comment.

Spain's silence today comes after a representative before the Human Rights Council in June protested the reports and said the body was "discredited". "It's a misinformation campaign," the representative said. At the end of today's debate, the group's president called again for those countries who haven't followed their recommendations to do so.

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