Rampi and Angioli: The verdict on Catalan detainees is a serious wound to the democratic Rule of Law

After years of inaction, followed by a sudden and massive recourse to the use of force and criminal law by Madrid, today the final act of a purely political claim has been complied. A claim that should have never ended in the courtroom of any country in the world, above all in a democracy and especially if the claim is conducted with non-violent and democratic methods. The sentence of more than 10 years of prison for representatives of the political and associative Catalan world represents a serious wound to the democratic rule of law.

The UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Fernand de Varennes, declared on the 25th of January 2019 that “non-violent political dissent by minorities should not give rise, as the Special Rapporteur points out, to criminal charges since such restrictions should only be imposed where they are strictly necessary and proportionate.”

With the convictions issued today by the judges of the Supreme Court, the judiciary drift that has been affecting Spain since 2017 has taken another authoritarian step that leads to the result of comparing non-violent Catalan exponents with ETA Basques. Matters of territorial policy must be addressed in the parliamentary seats through open confrontation and democratic debate, without any kind of prevarications. What distinguishes a democracy from an authoritarian country is the right to heresy, the right to blasphemy, because a country governed by the democratic rule of law is above all founded on freedom of expression.

Roberto Rampi
Senator elected with the Democratic Party (PD), member of the General Council of the Radical Party

Matteo Angioli
Secretary of the GCRL, member of the General Council of the Radical Party

Translation: Asia Jane Leigh

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