Pro-independence party Esquerra Republicana has taken its campaign for the 28th April Spanish election to the prisons which formerly held the Catalan political prisoners. Candidate Gabriel Rufián, who went to Lledoners prison with Raül Romeva's partner, Diana Riba, who's also standing in the European election, described it as "one of the most beautiful" campaign events he's ever taken part in. He denounced the "scorn" for prisoners in political life and urged Pedro Sánchez, Pablo Casado and Albert Rivera to visit jails themselves.
Leaving the prison after the rally, Rufián spoke to the media explaining how the event had gone. The fifty attendees had been held alongside the politicians for months and, according to Rufián, rejected their trial currently underway in Madrid.
For her part, Riba said it's one of the events she's been most involved in "on a personal level" and noted that she'd met the majority of the prisoners at different times whilst visiting Romeva, or their families whilst waiting. She described it as "very enriching" and said she'll take their comments to the Congress and the European Parliament.
Rufián continues to avoid JxCat
Today also saw the first press conference given by Jordi Sànchez (JxCat) since he entered prison a year and a half ago, in which the candidate supported pushing for dialogue with Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez. Rufián avoided commenting on Sànchez's remarks, despite being asked to, instead just wishing the party "all the luck in the world". He said, however, it's "great news" that Sànchez, and Oriol Junqueras tomorrow, are allowed to hold press conferences from prison.
ERC today held simultaneous events in three different Catalan prisons: Lledoners, Puig de les Basses and Mas d'Enric. Namely, the three prisons the pro-independence leaders were held in before being returned to Madrid for trial. There are some 6,200 prisoners in Catalonia. Of them, just over half have the theoretical right to vote, of whom only 349 have asked to exercise this right, according to the justice department.