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"The general case against the Catalan independence movement is not stopping". That was the reaction of Catalan foreign minister Bernat Solé this Friday after the High Court of Catalonia (TSJC) has sent him to trial on charges of disobedience related to the Catalan independence referendum of 2017.

Solé, former mayor of the town of Agramunt, has criticized that the persecution of the Catalan independence movement is "more active than ever" with people being brought before the courts "for defending democracy". Nevertheless, he asserted today that his commitment to the cause is also "stronger than ever".

"We will never give up the defence of democracy and fundamental rights," he said in a public video statement, assuring that "democracy and negotiation" are the only solutions to the conflict between Catalonia and Spain.

At the time of the Catalan independence referendum in 2017, Bernat Solé was mayor of Agramunt, and the charges against him allege that he facilitated the holding of the referendum in his town, in defiance of court orders prohibiting it. He became Catalan foreign minister in March this year.

In his video statement, Solé also called for Catalans to be allowed to decide their future in a referendum, and for an amnesty to be given to the pro-independence political prisoners and exiles.