Jordi Cuixart

Jordi Cuixart was imprisoned for 3 years and 8 months for exercising human rights

Jordi Cuixart, activist, businessman, and former president of Òmnium Cultural, between December 2015 and February 2022, was imprisoned in Spain in 2017 for exercising fundamentals rights such as freedom of expression and assembly, by participating in a peaceful demonstration in favour of a self-determination referendum for Catalonia. After spending 2 years in pre-trial detention, in 2019 he was sentenced by a politically motivated Spanish Supreme Court to serve 9 years for “sedition”, in violation of his rights and setting a worrying precedent for other activists across Europe.

But the Catalan citizens, mobilized in numerous demonstrations, and the international human rights community stood up for Jordi Cuixart. For almost 4 years, organisations, institutions, and human rights advocates gave their support to the release of Jordi Cuixart and the rest of the Catalan political prisoners and exiles. From the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to the very Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Also leading human rights NGOs such as Amnesty International, PEN International, OMCT, or Front Line Defenders. Not to mention the depiction of human rights violations in Spain in the international media.

Eventually, forced by international pressure and an increasing decline of Spain’s international image, the Spanish government pardoned Jordi Cuixart in July 2021. However, human rights violations haven’t been repaired and there are no guarantees of no-repetition. For this reason, Cuixart’s legal team filed an appeal before the European Court of Human Rights to do justice and ensure that never again a human rights defender is imprisoned in the European Union.

Jordi Cuixart, former president of Òmnium Cultural

The former president of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart i Navarro, is a 46-year-old Catalan businessman and activist. He has been involved in the NGO world and in social transformation since he was very young and he is a member and active supporter of numerous non-profit groups in Catalonia. He is also known for his commitment to the defence of human rights throughout the world.

Jordi Cuixart is the son of a working class family. At home his parents spoke in Spanish because his mother had moved to Catalonia from Murcia in southern Spain in the 1960’s. He has always defended migration as a structural reality and a source of social enrichment for Catalonia. He left school at 16 and started work in a factory. In 2003, when he was 28, he established his own company, Aranow, which specialises in the manufacture of packaging machinery and exports 90% of its production worldwide.

He has been a member of Òmnium since 1996 and in 2015 he was elected the 10th president of this cultural and civil rights NGO because of his strong commitment to Òmnium´s values in terms of language and culture, social cohesion, education and Catalonia’s right to decide its own political future. In June 2018, coinciding with his 8th month in prison, he was re-elected president by the largest vote in Òmnium’s history. In February 2022, he ended his presidency, being replaced by the newly elected president, the philosopher Xavier Antich. 

He lives in Gràcia (Barcelona) with his partner and their two sons. During his imprisonment, they didn’t have the chance to live a normal family life, but they did everything in their power to keep united and present to each other. Their youngest son was born during Jordi’s second year of imprisonment . 

“They have imprisoned good men and women, honest and hardworking people, and we have no doubt that sooner or later, we will get out of here. In the meantime, let’s love each other, let’s continue to fight peacefully and with civility, as always for freedom!”

Jordi Cuixart

What happened on September 20th 2017?

20S, the documentary about the peaceful demonstration for which Jordi Cuixart was sentenced to 9 years in prison

20-S is a detailed reconstruction of what happened on the 20th September 2017 outside the Catalan Finance Ministry buildings in Barcelona and at the CUP party offices. This documentary produced by Mediapro shows that the role of the presidents of Òmnium Cultural and the Catalan National Assembly was totally peaceful and they did not commit the crime of sedition, for which they were sentenced to 9 years in prison. 

Their actions were always in exercise of human rights: freedom of expression and the right to protest.


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"We demand justice and freedom"

Jody Williams, Noam Chomsky, Pep Guardiola, Angela Davis, Ben Emmerson, Bill Shipsey and Martín Caparrós demand Spain to release the nine Catalan prisioners, to solve this political conflict through dialogue and ask the Spanish institutions to stop their ideological repression. 


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“They have been jailed for their opinions and defending Catalonia’s rights”

Sergi López

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“Catalan political prisoners should be free right now. This is a madness”

Irvine Welsh