Joaquim Coll (Historian and Columnist) 07/07/2020
Oriol Junqueras.Pau Venteo
The leaders of the process, sentenced to various terms of imprisonment and disqualification for sedition and in some cases also for embezzlement, are about to move to a semi-freedom regime after the decision of the Catalan prisons to grant them the third degree.
The announcement comes almost nine months after the sentence and when it was not long ago that they could go during the week to work, volunteer or care for a family member, thanks to carefully designed programs for each of them. The confinement forced to suspend these activities outside the prison without that having prevented them from accessing this new prison regime with which they will only have to go to the prison or a guarded center during the week to sleep. And very soon not even that, as soon it will be applied to them article 86.4 with which they can lead a normal life.
“The exit of separatist leaders from prisons will help to ease the tension in Catalonia”
Surely all this is possible according to prison legislation, but there is no doubt that if the prisons did not depend on the Generalitat and they were not separatist politicians, the treatment they would have received would have been different.
The goal of a prison sentence is not meant to be fully served, but for the offender to be rehabilitated. The leaders of the process do not have a problem with social roots, of course, but they still have no regrets and have not asked for forgiveness for the damage they caused to the whole of Catalan society. If they are unlikely to try again today, despite their still defiant rhetoric, it is precisely because they have spent two and a half years in prison and have been barred from holding public office for the entire time of their sentence. That’s the truth.
“That ‘horrible oppressive state’ has been kind to the leaders of the ‘procés’, although they will never recognize it”
Another thing is that surely the punishment is enough, because the political problem will not be solved with more years behind the bars. The exit to the streets of the separatist leaders will help to ease the tension in Catalonia and to turn the page to the unfortunate process before now that the regional elections will not be long in coming.
The scary story that deputies like Gabriel Rufián explained last October that prisoners were going to be locked up 100 years, adding all the penalties, was useful to excite their parish a few weeks before the November general elections.
There is no doubt that when the Supreme Court rejected the request of the Prosecutor’s Office that the convicts had to serve half the sentence to access the third degree, they knew perfectly well that the Generalitat would speed up their release as much as possible. The truth is that “that horrible oppressive state” that the separatists caricature when they speak of Spain has been benevolent to the leaders of the process, although they will never recognize it.