Read in Catalan

Three former speakers of the Catalan Parliament - Joan Rigol, Ernest Benach and Núria de Gispert - have registered a petition to pardon the now-imprisoned parliamentarian who was speaker of the house after them, in 2016 and 2017: Carme Forcadell. They explained this themselves on Monday at a press conference in which they mentioned that Forcadell knows about the initiative, but has not taken part in it.

They also called for an amnesty as the best solution for all of the pro-independence leaders jailed in the wake of the October 1st 2017 referendum. "Before the amnesty law can be considered, we felt that we had to do this for her," said De Gispert.

Both she and Rigol stressed that a pardon does not imply "neither repentance nor any other acceptance" of the offences for which she has been convicted.

Benach stressed that they themselves, the group of three former speakers, and not Forcadell, are driving the request for a pardon "via an institutional channel".

The request for a pardon for Forcadell, which is addressed to the Spanish justice ministry, is in addition to another, promoted by the UGT trade union group for the former Catalan minister of labour, social affairs and families, Dolors Bassa, who, like Forcadell, is also jailed because of the 2017 Catalan referendum case. As explained by the three former speakers, the Spanish ministry has one year to resolve the petition, which will have to be approved by the Spanish cabinet.

The text registered this Monday highlights that Forcadell has spent "an absolutely excessive period of time" in prison and that "her attitude has been exemplary, both in the relationship with officials of the different prisons that she has been admitted to and with the rest of the inmates". In addition, they point out that "the political conflict between Catalonia and Spain will not be resolved through the courts." "Only political paths can attempt to find a solution," they warn, urging the Spanish government to make "gestures" such as granting a pardon to the former speaker of the Catalan Parliament.


Along with the petition, the three former speakers attach a letter addressed to the justice minister, Juan Carlos Campo, setting out the reasons for the initiative.