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The secretary general of the World Organization against Torture (OMCT), Gerald Staberock, has demanded that Spain annul the sentences of jailed pro-independence civil group leaders, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez, as they are “disproportionate”. The sentences for the two Catalans, says the anti-torture body, should be suspended until Spain's Constitutional Court resolves their appeals and until the crime of sedition is reformulated.

In an open letter posted on its website, and addressed to Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez, along with the speaker of the Spanish Congress, the attorney general, the president of the Constitutional Court and the solicitor general, Staberock calls on the Spanish state to comply with its international obligations to respect the freedoms of expression and assembly enshrined in international treaties which have been adopted by Spain.

"Based on the analysis of the facts, the course of the trial and the content of Judgment No. 459/2019," states the OMCT's letter, two elements are of particular concern to the body. The first of these is that the Supreme Court's ruling "violated Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez’s individual rights". As well, the verdict "sets a precedent that could negatively impact the effective enjoyment of the right to freedom of assembly in Spain," says the anti-torture organization.

With regard to this demand, Jordi Cuixart, president of the Òmnium Cultural society, once again complained that Spain has been systematically breaching international human rights treaties, since the publication of the latest report from the OMCT, and he called for people to the defend of rights and freedoms: "When injustice, racism and inequality are spreading across the planet, we strengthen the fight for human rights."

"The OMCT also demands that Spain annul the Supreme Court's verdicts and that it stop persecuting freedoms. When injustice, racism and inequality are spreading across the planet, we strengthen the fight for #HumanRights"— Jordi Cuixart

Òmnium vice-president Marcel Mauri recalled that while the so-called "most progressive government in history" keeps Cuixart and Sànchez in prison, both the OMCT and Amnesty International are demanding their release: "We will not stop until they are free".

The World Organization against Torture, the largest NGO network in the world, also calls on Spain to comply with the international treaties it has signed on freedom of expression and assembly, to review the crime of sedition and to ensure that the state respects human rights. The letter has been sent directly to the Spanish prime minister, the speaker of the Spanish Congress, the attorney general, the president of the Constitutional Court and the solicitor general.

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