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Leading defenders of human rights at the UN and the Council of Europe have today registered protests over the three years of imprisonment which have now been endured by the Catalan pro-independence activist Jordi Cuixart, and they also raised concerns about the conditions under which he is now held. The UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Mary Lawlor, publicly called for the release of the Òmnium Cultural president Cuixart in a tweet which noted that he had now spent three years in prison. As well, the human rights rapporteur of the Council of Europe, Alexandra Louis, spoke out to denounce the situation which Cuixart now faces in prison.

Lawlor recalled in her post that last year the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention advised that Cuixart’s case violated both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. "He should be released," she concluded.

Council of Europe: "Disturbing"

From key European human rights organization the Council of Europe, Louis recalls that Cuixart has been in prison for three years and was sentenced at the trial of twelve Catalan leaders in September 2019, and she says in a statement that "it is worrying that his conditions of detention are particularly drastic ", in addition to denouncing that his "flexible detention regime" has been suspended and "he remains jailed, in solitary confinement, in his cell for 23 hours out of 24".

louis Consell d'Europa

Alexandra Louis, Rapporteur of the Council of Europe for Human Rights / Council of Europe

The Council of Europe's human rights rapporteur asserts that this situation must be questioned, and calls directly on the Spanish authorities "to review their decisions regarding his detention, in particular the restrictions to which he is currently subject, and to consider releasing him on parole as soon as possible”.

Today, the third anniversary of the day that Cuixart, along with fellow pro-independence leader Jordi Sànchez, was ordered into pre-trial prison, the Òmnium group has launched an initiative to collect signatures in support of a letter that Cuixart is to send to the Spanish prime minister demanding an amnesty for all the political prisoners, exiles and others facing state reprisals for their involvement in the Catalan independence movement. As part of the campaign, an installation has been set up by Òmnium in Barcelona's Plaça Catalunya which shows images of many of those suffering reprisals, and allows supporters to sign the letter calling on the Spanish prime minister to take action.

Video: the Òmnium installation in Plaça Catalunya.

In the main image above, Jordi Cuixart at the entrance of Lledoners / Maria Contreras