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The Catalan Ombudsman reiterates that preventing the inauguration of Jordi Sŕnchez violates his political rights and the independence of the Parliament of Catalonia

12/04/2018

The institution considers that the Spanish Supreme Court acts against the jurisprudence European Court of Human Rights and ignores the UN Human Rights Committee

The Catalan Ombudsman reiterates that denying a special permit to Jordi Sànchez to participate, as a candidate, in the inauguration session convened by the President of the Parliament of Catalonia for the next 13 April violates the rights of political participation of the MP and of all the citizens of Catalonia. As brought up in the statement issued on the occasion of the first attempt to inaugurate Sànchez, the refusal of the examining judge to allow his participation in an inauguration session in which he is the nominated candidate violates these rights flagrantly and is contrary to the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

The decision also affects the separation of powers, as, in accordance with the Statute of Catalonia (art. 67) and within the framework of the Spanish Constitution, the status of MP generates a potential right to become president of the Catalan government, if  there is a majority support of the chamber. This can only be decided by the President of Parliament, after consultations with the parliamentary groups, and the judiciary cannot supersede this democratic function.

Following this recent ruling, the Catalan Ombudsman considers that active and passive elements of the right to political participation and freedom of Jordi Sànchez are violated. Furthermore, within the framework of the statutory mandate for the defence of individual rights and public liberties, regardless of the respect for the independence of the judiciary, the Ombudsman reiterates, as in other occasions, that the criminal qualification as rebellion or sedition of the facts around October 1st is clearly disproportionate and may be in violation of the principle of criminal legality. Likewise, the prison on remand of eight people within the framework of these proceedings is disproportionate. And, as long as it has been adopted based on the ideology of these people, it would be contrary to the right to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and demonstration and the right to personal freedom and security.

Additionally, the UN Human Rights Committee, in the acknowledgement of receipt of the communication sent by Sànchez for the alleged violation of article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Comma No. 3160 / 2018), has reminded the Spanish authorities that they must "take all necessary measures to ensure that Jordi Sànchez can exercise his political rights in accordance with article 25 of the Covenant." This warning was made in the framework of article 92 of the Rules of Procedure of the Committee, which allows this body "to notify the State its opinion on the advisability of taking provisional measures to prevent irreparable damage to the victim of the reported violation".

The Catalan Ombudsman will inform about these violations the European Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, and the competent human rights bodies of the United Nations.

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