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Spanish justice has decided to lock them up properly again. The penitentiary surveillance judge at Catalonia's Lledoners prison has today ordered that several of the convicted pro-independence leaders have to return to a full custodial jail regime, after her decision to suspend the work leave provisions and open prison arrangements that they have been granted recently. The prisoners have returned to jail this evening, and won't be let out again at least until an application made today by prosecutors has been heard. This development comes as a result of a ruling by the Spanish Supreme Court last Thursday in relation to the work leave granted to one of the Catalan political prisoners, former parliamentary speaker Carme Forcadell, and the same doctrine is now being applied to others.

In the ruling, the judge suspended both the "third level" open prison regime and the work leave provisions granted to the former Catalan vice president, Oriol Junqueras, ex-ministers Joaquim Forn and Raül Romeva, and civil society leaders Jordi Cuixart (president of Òmnium Cultural) and Jordi Sànchez (former president of the ANC). She also annulled the open prison regime granted to Carme Forcadell, who had already lost her work leave provision on 23rd July. The prosecutors are still working on appeals with regard to the remaining three political prisoners, former Catalan government ministers Josep Rull, Jordi Turull and Dolors Bassa, suggesting they will encounter the same procedure in the next few days.

"Penitentiary Surveillance Court 5 of Catalonia has received the appeal of the public prosecution service against the "third level" prison regime of five of the inmates convicted by the Supreme Court and has agreed to the suspension of this regime while the appeal is heard, as provided by law"— TSJCat (High Court of Catalonia) 

The High Court of Catalonia (TSJC) has processed the appeal rapidly and has ruled that while the matter is being resolved, the third-level prison regime will be suspended for the pro-independence prisoners. This is in line with the doctrine created by the Supreme Court in the case of Carme Forcadell last week. That court ruled that it had the power to make final rulings on the prison regime to be served by those it had convicted, and also that the mere presentation by prosecutors of an appeal against the prison leave provisions would trigger the suspension of the provisions while the appeal was heard. Thus, the open prison regime, which the Catalan prisoners only began on July 17th - allowing them to spend the weekend at home - is now suspended. 


Catalan president Quim Torra, due to speak along with other pro-independence leaders outside Lledoners prison this evening, responded to the news on Twitter, stating bluntly: "No, the law does not provide for revenge as a response. Is this the dialogue that Spain is offering?"

ERC party leader and former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras remarked that today it has once again been shown "that they are very afraid of us and want us locked up". "People do get out of prison, and we will get out to win and to take this country to liberty," he added.

For his part, ex-minister Raül Romeva stated that it was "inevitable" and he explained why: "they are returning us to prison because they are unable to return to politics. The revenge is not stopping."

Parliamentarian for the pro-independence CUP party Eulàlia Regüant stated: "This is called criminal law for the enemy."

Exiled Catalan minister and MEP Clara Ponsatí affirmed: "A principle of reality: while we are arguing about who is the best, they go to work and make it clear who is the worst".

Òmnium vice-president Marcel Mauri stated that the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, "now has what he wanted". "It was his prosecution service who asked for it. If the Spanish government does not demand the immediate withdrawal of the [prosecutors'] appeal, not only will it be clear that it has no will to undertake dialogue, it will also show that it endorses and promotes repression."

ERC secretary general Marta Rovira, in exile in Switzerland since 2017, also spoke out, quoting a candid line uttered by former Spanish interior minister Jorge Fernández Díaz on the methods of Spanish state powers: "Remember that line "the prosecution will fine-tune it for you"? Well, it never fails. Today the prosecution has also done the work for the Spanish government of PSOE and Unidas Podemos. Today the PSOE and UP have done away with politics, democratic resolution and have endorsed political repression. They are clearly showing us the path to follow."