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.