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The Catalan Ombudsman informs the European Commissioner for Human Rights and rapporteurs of the United Nations about the lack of proportion of legal actions against political dissidents

11/04/2018

The actions legally pursued in this case by the Spanish National Court shall be considered prima facie as an expression of public liberties legally protected

The Catalan Ombudsman has informed the new European human rights commissioner, Dunja Mijatović, and the relevant human rights rapporteurs of the United Nations of the latest arrests of people accused of rebellion and terrorism. It is an operation coordinated by the Spanish National Court for the road cuts and the lifting of tolls in highways carried out two weeks ago. The Catalan Ombudsman reminds that freedoms of expression, assembly and demonstration constitute fundamental rights protected by the highest national and international legal norms and, although these freedoms are not absolute, their limits must be based on the law, pursue legitimate aims and be proportional.

The actions legally pursued in this case by the Spanish National Court shall be considered prima facie as an expression of public liberties legally protected. If, in the course of exercising these freedoms, the constitutional and statutory limits of the rights in question have been exceeded and acts of public disorder have been committed, the actions must be pursued proportionally. The classification of these facts (cutting roads and lifting tolls in highways) as rebellion or terrorism is manifestly disproportionate, contrary to the principle of legality and apparently aimed at the dual objective, on the one hand, of criminalizing the protest and causing a dissuasive effect in the face of future mobilizations; and, on the other, of allowing the Spanish National Court to assume the instruction of facts that, according to the principle of judge determined by law, correspond to the courts of instruction of the territories where they were committed.

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