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Ben Emmerson, the lawyer representing Catalan political and civil leaders Carles Puigdemont, Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart before the United Nations, affirmed on Saturday that Spain is behaving like a repressive regime, since it reacted with the imprisonment of the Catalan politicians after the civil population asked peacefully for independence.

Emmerson has also stated that the Spanish government is forcing the law because the case is in accordance with its wishes, and that, therefore, it has gone well beyond the limits of democracy. On the other hand, the lawyer has also predicted that the Spanish state will end up taking a step back in terms of repression, since it can't continue much longer on that path.

He also noted that if any third country extradites an exiled Catalan politician, it will be violating that person's human rights, since in Spain neither human rights nor international law are being respected. This right, according to Emmerson, was violated from the moment that the Spanish state began imprisoning politicians for the simple fact of defending the independence of Catalonia. He also said that offences of rebellion and sedition, which can lead to sentences of 30 years' prison, cannot be used as the central axis of the case. 

In the case of Puigdemont, Emmerson has reaffirmed that his defence team has full confidence in German justice, recalling that there is no evidence of the offence of misappropriation of funds and that even Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy has defended in the Spanish congress that "not even one cent of public funds was spent on the organization of the Catalan independence referendum".

The lawyer warned the international community that it was time to wake up and look at what was really going on in Catalonia in terms of repression, even though he also mentioned that people are indeed becoming more aware of what is happening, one of the examples being Amnesty International's support for the cause of the Catalan political prisoners.

Finally, Emmerson argued that there couldn't have been any acts of terrorism in the civil disobedience in Catalonia, with reference to this week's arrest of the CDR member Tamara Carrasco. He also recalled there is no definition of terrorism in terms of international law, and, therefore, the most repressive states are able to use a very extensive definition of the crime, an approach that they may take in order to create terror themselves.

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