Flemish Parliament demands release of Catalan politicians

16 October 2019

Flanders is turning no blind eye to the events taking place in Spain and Catalonia. In a resolution, the Flemish Parliament condemns the severe punishments handed down by the Spanish Supreme Court to nine Catalan politicians and activists. A number of N-VA MPs are demanding a pardon for the convicted politicians: “Politicians belong in parliaments and governments, not behind bars.”

The punishments handed down by the Spanish Supreme Court beggar belief. “Democratically-elected politicians and citizens are being convicted and locked up for carrying out their political activities. That is unacceptable,” the N-VA says. Together with the other majority parties, we are therefore demanding a pardon for the convicted politicians and leaders of the citizens’ movement.

Catalan case requires political solution

It is unacceptable that in Europe today, people are being locked up and convicted for their political opinion. Political conflicts can only be resolved through dialogue and not by courts or repression. Europe must continue to defend fundamental rights and liberties such as the right to freedom of expression and democracy, and certainly in its own member states.

Insistence on dialogue

Already back in October 2017, the Flemish Parliament approved a resolution in which the international community was called upon to play a role of mediator between the Spanish and Catalan governments. Unfortunately, we have to note today that nothing is happening. The deafening silence on the part of the European Commission is not working in favour of dialogue, but just to the contrary. So we continue - more than ever - to insist that a political dialogue should take place between Barcelona and Madrid and we ask the European and international community no longer to look away, but to play a mediating role in this affair.

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