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To suspend the prisoners' jail sentences for the duration of the coronavirus health emergency. This is what Catalan pro-independence political prisoners Oriol Junqueras and Raül Romeva are seeking. Their lawyer, Andreu Van den Eynde, has sent a letter to Spain's Constitutional Court this Monday requesting the suspension of the prison sentences, as well as the bans on their holding of public office, in accordance with the resolutions of the World Health Organization and the Council of Europe calling on states to impose "alternatives to jail" during the pandemic.

In a submission to the Constitutional Court, the lawyer asserts that not allowing Junqueras and Romeva to go free during this situation could cause "grave damage to their right to life, to physical and moral integrity, to dignity and to family life" and he warns of possible "irreparable damage". For all of these reasons, he demands the release of his clients during the coronavirus lockdown, adding that the current situation means that any risk of flight is "impossible".


Meanwhile, another of the nine imprisoned Catalan political and civil leaders, Jordi Cuixart, also last week requested his release from prison. Cuixart has just spent the last two weeks confined to his cell 24 hours a day in a coronavirus quarantine, which ended on Monday. The 14 days' isolation were part of the agreement he reached with prison authorities after requesting permission two weeks ago to make a trip to his work leave position, at the Catalan packaging firm he manages, to prepare the company for the crisis situation due to coronavirus. Cuixart accepted the deal and accordingly spent the two weeks in solitary confinement.