Three of the Catalan political prisoners - Oriol Junqueras, Raül Romeva and Carme Forcadell - are about to resume their former routines of leaving their penitentiaries on weekdays to undertake work and volunteer activity, as part of the 9-13 year jail sentences they are serving for their roles in the 2017 Catalan independence referendum. All nine of the convicted social and political leaders serving jail time were confined to their prisons during the the first weeks of the coronavirus emergency, but have been allowed to resume their work leave. Now, prison treatment boards have accepted the changes that these three prisoners have proposed.
From now on, Oriol Junqueras will be released from prison to go to work for the Monastery of Poblet, one of Catalonia's most emblematic historical locations and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Junqueras - an historian and teacher by profession - will work in archive care as well as preparing classes to be given at the University of Vic, sources close to the ERC president told ElNacional.cat.
Specifically, Junqueras will be involved in the care of two archives: the Montserrat Tarradellas and Macià archive and that of the Casa Ducal de Medinaceli in Catalonia. They are located several kilometres away from the main monastery complex. The conditions for Oriol Junqueras have changed and he will now leave prison four days a week for 12 hours a day, with extra hours to make up for those lost during the enforced break of coronavirus lockdown.
Former Catalan foreign minister Raül Romeva will also spend more more hours outside the prison from now on, for the same reason. Romeva, who has years of experience in peace processes, is working in a private partnership evaluating the progress of the Dayton Peace Accords that ended the Bosnian war. From now on he will do so 10 hours a day, 4 days a week.
And former speaker of the Catalan Parliament Carme Forcadell will now leave prison 3 days a week, for 12 hours a day. Her schedule has changed because the headquarters of the organization where she volunteers has changed location.