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The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, has warned Spain that pretrial detention "should be considered a measure of last resort". In an update statement to the Human Rights Council, he also urges for a resolution to the independence conflict in Catalonia "through political dialogue".

The High Commissioner also says he was "dismayed" by the "violence" during last year's independence referendum. "Given what appeared to be excessive use of force by police, the Government's characterisation of police action on 1 October as “legal, legitimate and necessaryis questionable," said Al Hussein (bold ours). He had already said, on 2nd October last year, that he was "very disturbed by the violence in Catalonia" and that "police responses must at all times be proportionate and necessary".

Similarly, on 27th February, he had expressed his worries over the alleged excessive use of force on 1st October to Spanish foreign affairs minister, Alfonso Dastis, who he met with around the 37th session of the Human Rights Council. Dastis later said that, in the meeting, Zeid asked him "how investigations were going", to which the minister replied that "it was in the framework of a legal process".

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