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Jordi Cuixart

Jordi Cuixart, president of Òmnium Cultural, imprisoned in Spain for exercising human rights

The Spanish Supreme Court sentenced businessman & activist Jordi Cuixart to 9 years in prison for supporting a peaceful demonstration in favour of the Catalan referendum in 2017

Almost four years have passed since Jordi Cuixart was sent to prison in “pre-trial detention” for his involvement in a demonstration on the 20th September 2017 to protest against the arrest of several senior officials who allegedly were behind the organisation of the 2017 Catalan referendum. All he did was support this protest and make constant calls for the protesters to act peacefully, and they did. They also acted as intermediaries between demonstrators and law enforcement, creating free corridors for the police officers to pass and do their work. In the end, he and Jordi Sànchez, former president of the Catalan National Assembly, called the gathering off. There was no violence of any kind and people went home. Yet, the politicised, nationalist and conservative Spanish Judiciary deemed it otherwise.

After two years of pre-trial detention, in October 2019, the Spanish Supreme Court sentenced Jordi Cuixart to serve 9 years of prison for “sedition”. As a matter of fact, he was convicted for exercising human rights such as freedom of expression and assembly, setting a worrying precedent for other activists in Europe. International bodies and leading human rights NGOs have denounced this situation and called for his immediate release: the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Amnesty International, Front Line Defenders, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) PEN International and the International Comission of Jurists. So far, the Spanish authorities have ignored each and every international call to free Mr Jordi Cuixart.

Jordi Cuixart, president of Òmnium Cultural

The president of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart i Navarro, is a 45-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 richness for Catalonia. He left school at 16 and started work in a factory. In 2003, when he was 28, he started 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 the entity because of his strong commitment to Òmnium´s values in terms of language and culture, social cohesion, education and the right to self-determination. In June 2018, coinciding with his 8th month in prison, he was re-elected president by the largest vote in Òmnium’s history.

He normally lives in Barcelona with his couple and their sons, who are 4 and almost 1 year old. The younger was born in September 2019, so Jordi hasn’t had the chance to enjoy family life with in freedom with him.

“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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Supports

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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
Actor

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

Irvine Welsh 
Writer