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Home » Content » The US annual report on Human Rights denies that there are political prisoners in Spain
American diplomacy denounces abuses of freedom of expression and hate crimes of separatists

David Alandete, Washington

Updated: 03/13/2019 18: 49h146

The latest edition of the report on the world situation of Human Rights that American diplomacy prepares each year defends the independence of Spanish justice and rejects that there are “political prisoners” in Catalonia, as the separatists maintain. Despite the intense and constant pressure of the independence lobby in Washington, the State Department reiterates in the report that the referendum on October 1, 2017 was declared illegal by the courts, and that “the Government as a rule respects independence and the impartiality of justice”.

Regarding the complaint of the separatists that there are political prisoners in Catalonia, the US government says: «Several representatives of the Catalan nationalist political parties maintain that some members of those parties, subject to preventive detention because of the “referendum” of independence in Catalonia held in October 2017 and declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court, they are “political prisoners”». The report concludes: “Neither the Government nor any non-governmental human rights organization supports that claim”.

In fact, the report says, these alleged political prisoners are “nine members of political parties and civil groups in favor of the independence of Catalonia, in pretrial detention since late 2017, accused of several crimes of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement of public funds». The trial began last month and is being held at the Supreme Court.

What does reflect the State Department report, released on Wednesday, is that the separatists have launched a political campaign that threatens freedom of expression in Catalonia. Citing Reporters without Borders, the US diplomacy ensures that the regional authorities in Catalonia “increased their harassment of journalists” in favor of the unity of Spain “in social networks, while the regional police intimidated other journalists».

In addition, it includes a complaint from the prosecutor’s office in Barcelona about «the increase in hate crimes since October 2017, especially attributable to political ideas related to the independence movement». It also denounces a rise in anti-Semitism, especially for a graffiti in Catalan in a synagogue in Barcelona in which Jews were urged to “leave the country”.

The report has been prepared since 1977 and it analyzes the situation of Human Rights throughout the planet. To elaborate it, the division in charge of issues related to democracy, Human Rights and the work of the State Department uses reports from US embassies, foreign governments and non-governmental organizations. Each year, this detailed analysis is sent to the Capitol for the record of the legislative chambers and serves as a guide for the approval of laws that affect the country’s foreign relations.

In January, Catalan President Quim Torra visited the Capitol in Washington and met with Democrat and Republican MPs to try to convince them of the need for the United States to mediate between Spain and Catalonia for the alleged human rights abuses and the presence of political prisoners because of the «procés». This report belies the narrative of the Generalitat and ensures that there are no credible reports on alleged “human rights abuses” in Spain.



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