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22 de nov. 2018

2005: The day holding a referendum on independence stopped being a crime in Spain

The day holding a referendum on independence stopped being a crime in Spain.

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Article by Quim Torra "Language and the Beasts". False controversy

Anti-Catalan media and even political leaders pounced on an article, written by the President of Catalonia years before he entered the world of polítics, twisting the content to portray him as a racist and a supremacist. Here is an English translation: judge for yourselves!

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Language and the beasts

"They are here, amongst us. They repudiate any expression of Catalan-ness. It's a sickly phobia"

by Quim Torra 12/19/2012

In my parents' house there was an old copy of a book that all my brothers had read: "About when beasts spoke", by Manuel Folch i Torres. My father was inflexible and, just as Thackeray's The Rose and the Ring and Josep Maria Folch i Torres' Bolavà, held that one could not grow up without having read them. It was a delightful book in which owls, bears, elephants, deer and bumblebees spoke, a collection of fables for children's education. Now when you look at your country you see beasts talking again. But they are of another type. Snakes, vipers, hyenas. Beasts, though, in human form, that those up hatred. A hatred - outraged, nauseated, like copper-green -, against everything that the Catalan language stands for. They are here, amongst us. They repudiate any expression of Catalan-ness. It's a sickly phobia. There is something Freudian about these beasts. Or a small glitch in their DNA chain. Poor individuals! They live in a country of which they know nothing: its culture, its traditions, its history. They deaf and blind to anything that smells Catalan to them. It brings them out in spots. They spurn everything that is not Spanish and in Spanish. They have names and surnames, these beasts do. We all know one. These beasts abound. They live, die and multiply. One of them was responsible the other day for an incident that has not reached Catalonia and deserves to be explained, as an outstanding example of the bestiality of these beings. Poor beasts, it's all they're capable of. One of the few airlines that accepts Catalan with normality is Swiss. If you have taken any of their flights to the ancient Confederation, you will have found how they use our language when it comes to taking off or landing the craft. This is an exception, for unfortunately, the rest of the companies still treat us exactly as what we are, the last colony in Europe. Well, a couple of weeks ago one of these beasts travelled on a Swiss flight. On arriving at the destination, the usual observations prior to the landing were announced in Catalan. The beast, automatically, secreted his angry spittle. The stench of a sewer left his seat. He moved, restless, desperate, horrified at having to hear four words in Catalan. He had no escape. A mucous sweat, like a toad with a cold, dripped down from his armpits. You have to imagine the beast, after such a long time - they can live in their Spanish world without any problems -, listening to four words in a language they hate. Outraged, he decided to write a letter to a German newspaper in Zurich, complaining about the treatment he had received because "his rights were violated" as Spanish was the "first" official language of Spain. And the complaint of the beast was published, splashed across the page. Thank goodness, our good friends of the Casal Català of Zurich  responded and left clear things (so many embassies and Sea Consulates and look, a small Catalan club is the one who has mobilized thanks to the decency and dignity of his members). But why do we have to mobilize each time? When will the beasts' attacks end? How can we endure, in 2008, so much anguish, so much humiliation and contempt?

La llengua i les bèsties
"Són aquí, entre nosaltres. Els repugna qualsevol expressió de catalanitat. És una fòbia malaltissa"

per Quim Torra 19/12/2012

A casa els pares corria un vell exemplar d’un llibre que tots els germans havíem llegit: De quan les bèsties parlaven, d’en Manuel Folch i Torres. El pare era inflexible i, com La rosa i l’anell de Thackeray i en Bolavà de Josep Maria Folch i Torres, considerava que un no podia fer-se gran sense haver-los llegit. Era un llibre deliciós on òlibes, óssos, elefants, cervatons i borinots parlaven, un recull de faules destinades a l’educació dels infants.Ara mires al teu país i tornes a veure parlar les bèsties. Però són d’un altre tipus. Carronyaires, escurçons, hienes. Bèsties amb forma humana, tanmateix, que glopegen odi. Un odi pertorbat, nauseabund, com de dentadura postissa amb verdet, contra tot el que representa la llengua. Són aquí, entre nosaltres. Els repugna qualsevol expressió de catalanitat. És una fòbia malaltissa. Hi ha alguna cosa freudiana en aquestes bèsties. O un petit sotrac en la seva cadena d’ADN. Pobres individus! Viuen en un país del que ho desconeixen tot: la seva cultura, les seves tradicions, la seva història. Es passegen impermeables a qualsevol esdeveniment que representi el fet català. Els crea urticària. Els rebota tot el que no sigui espanyol i en castellà. Tenen nom i cognoms, les bèsties. Tots en coneixem alguna. Abunden, les bèsties. Viuen, moren i es multipliquen. Una d’elles va protagonitzar l’altre dia un incident que no ha arribat a Catalunya i mereix ser explicat, com un exemple extraordinari de la bestialitat d’aquests éssers. Pobres bèsties, no poden fer-hi més. Una de les escasses companyies aèries que vénen acceptant amb normalitat el català és Swiss. Si han agafat algun dels seus vols a la vella Confederació, hauran constatat com es ve emprant la nostra llengua a l’hora d’enlairar-se o aterrar l’aparell. Una excepció, ja que, malauradament, amb la resta de companyies venim essent tractats exactament com el que som, la darrera colònia en terres d’Europa. Doncs bé, fa un parell de setmanes viatjava en un vol de Swiss una d’aquestes bèsties. En arribar al destí, s’anuncià en català les típiques observacions prèvies a l’aterratge. La bèstia, automàticament, segregà la seva salivera rabiosa. Una fortor de cloaca sortia del seu seient. Es removia, inquieta, desesperada, horroritzada per haver de sentir quatre mots en català. No tenia escapatòria. Una suor mucosa, com de gripau refredat, li rajava de les aixelles. Cal imaginar-se-la, a la bèstia, després de tant temps!, elles que poden viure en el seu món espanyol sense cap problema, escoltant quatre mots en una llengua que odia. Indignada, va decidir escriure una carta en un diari alemany de Zuric, queixant-se del tracte rebut ja que "es violaven els seus drets" al ser el castellà la "primera" llengua oficial d'Espanya”. I, a tota plana, la queixa de la bèstia va sortir publicada. Gràcies a Déu, els bons amics del Casal Català de Zuric han replicat i han deixat les coses clares (tantes ambaixades i consultats de Mar i, mira tu, un petit Casal Català és qui s’ha mobilitzat gràcies a la decència i dignitat dels seus membres). Però per què ens hem de mobilitzar cada vegada? Quan acabaran els atacs de les bèsties? Com podem el 2008 aguantar tanta vexació, tanta humiliació i tant menyspreu?

20 de nov. 2018

European Court of Human Rights: judgment on Selahattin Demirtaş M.P.

Press Release dated 20 November 2018  on the ECHR judgment ordering the termination of the pre-trial detention Kurdish leader Selahattin Demirtaş.
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19 de nov. 2018

Article by Oriol Martínez: "Reasons for secession"

This post reproduces an article by Orio Martínez which comments on the opinion of Prof. Allen Buchanan, as regards secession processes in international law in general, and on the case of Catalonia (in a framework where the host nation refuses to negotiate and egages instead in political repression) in particular. (I hope the author and magazine do not object to this transcription of the article).

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18 de nov. 2018

Spanish policeman are claimed to engage in illegal night-time activities

This post explains a surprising encounter between Catalan and Spanish policemen. I hope the courts will investigate it thoroughly, because if the details are confirmed, the incident is extremely disturbing.
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10 de nov. 2018

Nine reports on the violation of fundamental rights by Spain in its conflict with Catalonia (2017-2019)

This post provides links to nine detailed reports on the violation of fundamental rights and freedoms by Spain in Catalonia, since 2017.

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Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly
Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights
Should politicians be prosecuted for statements made in the exercise of their mandate?
Introductory memorandum
Rapporteur: Mr Boris Cilevičs
October 1 2019

Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (United Nations)
Opinions adopted at the 84th session (24 April-3 May 2019)

No. 6 (SP): https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Detention/Opinions/Session84/A_HRC_WGAD_2019_6.pdf

No. 12 (SP): https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Detention/Opinions/Session84/A_HRC_WGAD_2019_12.pdf

More than 400 academics in the fields of political science, law and other disciplines express their worries that electoral monitors in Spain are being threatened with jail over their role in Catalonia’s independence referendum. December 2018.
(See also http://estudiscatalans.blogspot.com/2017/09/repression-election-board.html and item 5 below)

Síndic de Greuges de Catalunya (Ombudsman of Catalonia).
1st edition: May 2018.
Report: THE VIOLATION OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS ARISING FROM THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE REACTION FOLLOWING OCTOBER 1, AND APPLICATION OF ARTICLE 155 OF THE CONSTITUTION. http://www.sindic.cat/site/unitFiles/5324/Report%20on%20violation%20of%20fundamental%20rights%20and%20freedoms%20arising%20from%20October_1_eng.pdf
600 jurists from Catalonia and abroad endorse a Complaint to the ECHR.
February 2018.
This report is promoted by the Col·lectiu Praga (Praga Group)1. Subscribed by 650 lawyers, the report aims to bring to the attention of the Commissioner of Human Rights of the Council of Europe violations of the 1950 European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR). Such violations of human rights took place in the run-up to the referendum on independence held in Catalonia, on 1 October 2017, on the referendum day itself, and in the aftermath of the referendum.

Report on the political situation and the violation of fundamental rights in Catalonia.
March 2017. 

9 de nov. 2018

La querella per la violència de la guàrdia civil a Sant Joan de Vilatorrada (to be translated)

El cas de la violència de la guàrdia civil a Sant Joan de Vilatorrada el 1-O de 2017 durant el referèndum va portar a la denúncia per part de tretze electors. Heus aquí una transcripció de la interlocutòria de l'Audiència provincial de Barcelona (de 26 d'octubre de 2018) sobre el cas.

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7 de nov. 2018

Catalans appeal to the Constitutional Court for protection of rights

Spanish law allows a citizen to appeal to the Constitutional Court if he/she claims protection against a decision of a court that violates his/her fundamental rights. This post comments on recent cases affecting Catalan political and social leaders.
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6 de nov. 2018

Spain's top judge, Lesmes, sends a dying colleague a controversial letter

There was widespread criticism of the patriotic tone (which was taken to refer to his stance on the Catalan process) in a letter sent by Spain's top judge to a colleague on his deathbed. The latter was in charge of one of the most severely criticised investigations into the organisation of the self-determination referendum on October 1 2017, which he started months ahead of the actual poll. (I hope the agency does not object to this translation, by M.S.)
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Joan Queralt, on the letter from Lesmes: "It is more frightening than it seems"

Translation by M.S. of a report on Joan Queralt's opinion about the letter from judge Lesmes: "It is more frightening than it seems".
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2 de nov. 2018

Statement by the Catalan Association for Civil Rights

The Catalan Association for Civil Rights, set up by members of the families of Catalonia's political prisoners, made a statement following the official announcement of the grave charges laid against them in November. Here is an English translation of the text.


Catalan Association for Civil Rights

November 2, 2018

Statement in relation to the charges laid by public prosecutor's and the State legal office.

The Catalan Association for Civil Rights wants to make it clear that we are faced with a flagrant violation of rights and freedoms that are not appropriate in a democratic state such as the one that Spain claims to be.

Today, the State public prosecutor and the State Legal office have once again shown that, within what they want to pose as a purely legal matter, there is a clear search for revenge and ideological persecution against politicians and activists who only put into practice the unconditional exercise of their fundamental rights. We therefore believe that the positioning of the public prosecution and the State legal office is not only unfair but also based on a false and unfounded premise. The only position that would fit the facts would be for all charges against the defendants be dropped, as they have not committed any crime.

These indictments seek to criminalize the full exercise of democratic rights such as the right to self-determination, the right of peaceful assembly and the right of political dissidence. A State ought to ensure such rights as the only way to resolve political conflicts.

Far from being discouraged, the Catalan Association for Civil Rights, as a joint platform for the victims of tne reprisals and their relatives on charges of rebellion, we remain firm and persistent in denouncing the judicialization of politics, the flagrant violation of rights and freedoms, and the arbitrary use by Spain of its power in the courts.

For all these reasons, we call for the response to this and future scenarios to be always unquenchably peaceful and to be coordinated by the main institutions, parties, organizations and political agents who may feel the duty to defend democracy, freedom and fundamental rigjts.



Associació Catalana pels Drets Civils

2 de novembre de 2018

Comunicat en relació a I'acusació de fiscalia I de I'advocacia general de I'Estat.

Des de I'Associació Catalana pels Drets Civils volem tomar a fer evident que estem davant d'una flagrant vulneració de drets i llibertats impròpies d'un estat democràtic com el que pretén ser I'Estat Espanyol.

Avui la fiscalia General de I'Estat i I'Advocacia general de I'estat han tornat a demostrar que dins del que volen fer passar com un assumpte netament legal hi ha una clara recerca de venjança i persecució ideològica cap a politics i activistes que només van dur a la pràctica I'exercici incondicional dels seus drets fonamentals. Per tant entenem que el posicionament del ministeri fiscal i I'advocacia general de I'estat, no només és injust sinó que també es basa en un retat fals i infundat. L'única posició que s'ajusta a la realitat és que es retirin els càrrecs a tots els acusats i acusades, ja que no han comès cap delicte.

Aquests escrits d'acusació pretenen criminalitzar el ple exercici de drets democràtics com són el dret a I'autodeterminació, de manifestació pacífica I dissidència política. Drets que un Estat hauria de garantir com a única via per resoldre conflictes politics.

LIuny de defallir, I'Associació Catalana pels Drets Civils, com a plataforma conjunta dels represaliats I els seus familiars per la causa de rebel·lió, ens mantenim ferms i persistents en la denúncia de la judicialització de la politica, la vulneració flagrant de drets i llibertats, i I'ús arbitrari que I'Estat Espanyol fa del seu poder judicial.

Per tot això, demanem que la resposta a aquest fet i als que vindran sigui sempre insubornablement pacífica i coordinada per part d'institucions, partits, entitats i agents politics rellevants que se sentin amb el deure de defensar la democràcia, la llibertat i els drets fonamentals.

Council for the Republic

Here is an English version (by M.R.) of the instructions to sign up for the Register of the Council for the [Catalan] Republic.
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