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The UN Human Rights Committee ruled today that Spain "violated the political rights of former members of the government and parliament of Catalonia" by suspending the pro-independence leaders from their functions as MPs before the 2019 judgment of their case, arising from the Catalan independence referendum of 1st October 2017. Among the many figures in the Catalan independence movement who commented on the long-awaited UN ruling, president in exile Carles Puigdemont called it a blow to the Spanish state, current president Pere Aragonès asserted that "violation of fundamental rights" is a "line that should never have been crossed", while MEP Clara Ponsati made a comment on who she believes the ruling will benefit.

One of the first to celebrate the Human Rights Committee's opinion was Carles Puigdemont, president of Catalonia at the time of the 2017 referendum, who described the contents of the document as "another slap in the face to the Spanish state from the UN". "Those responsible for that violation cannot give lessons in democracy and should assume responsibility," Puigdemont said, before declaring that in the actions of the Spanish state, "democracy was dealt a blow."

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An amnesty "is the only way out"

Another who gave his view was Oriol Junqueras, one of the four Catalan political prisoners along with Raül Romeva, Josep Rull and Jordi Turull who took the case to the UN Human Rights Committee. Junqueras - vice-president in Puigdemont's government in 2017 and re-elected to the Catalan Parliament in the December 2017 elections called by the Spansh government, but like his colleagues, suspended from his parliamentary mandate - commented that: "The resolution not only proves us right. It also shows that Spain cannot continue with repressive practices against the independence movement," he said from his Twitter account. And he concluded: "The only way out is an amnesty for all those retaliated against, there are no excuses."

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"The rights of all Catalans have been violated"

The current president of the Catalan government, Pere Aragonès, also celebrated the fact that the Spanish state and the "arbitrary" actions taken by its justice system had been found wanting by the UN Committee's conclusions. In a Twitter thread, Aragonès described the opinion as "very significant" and said that it ratified that the "repression and violation of fundamental rights are lines that should never have been crossed".

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In another message, the president and ERC politician added that "not only have the human rights of Oriol Junqueras, Raül Romeva, Josep Rull and Jordi Turull been seriously violated, but so have those of all Catalans". Finally, Aragonès resolves that "today, as always, we reaffirm our convictions for democracy and freedoms". "For the amnesty and independence", concludes the president of the Generalitat.

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"For those who are still standing" 

As well, exiled former Catalan minister and current MEP Clara Ponsatí spoke out, stating that the UN opinion, "will be a great tool for those of us who are still standing."

"A devastating opinion of the UN Human Rights Committee against Spain. Another favourable decision by international justice. Although it comes when many have given up, it will be a great tool for those of us who are still standing," assured Ponsatí. The MEP also took the opportunity to thank the international legal team for "the good work".

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