Jordi Cuixart’s case has been a blatant case of injustice in the heart of Europe. During the 3 years and 8 months that he spent in prison, he was the only imprisoned human rights defender in the European Union. He was recognised as a human rights defender at risk, and his conviction has been widely criticised by the main organisations in defence of human rights and by international organisations, which have all claimed that Cuixart was exercising the right to peaceful assembly and asked for his immediate release. Thanks to this pressure made my the international human rights community, and due to the bad press that his case was giving to the Spanish authorities abroad, the Spanish Government was forced to pardon him (and the 8 other Catalan political prisoners) in July 2021.
These organizations, as Òmnium, think that the pardon does not solve anything: his sentenced should be quashed, and he must be restored for the time he spent unjustly in prison. But, most importantly, guarantees of no-reptetion have to be adopted, so what happend to him cannot happen to anyone in the future.
This is the list of the main supports that made Cuixart’s release possible:
Human Rights NGO's
Amnesty International has insistently demanded the freedom of Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sánchez since they were put in pre-trial detention in 16 October 2017. The NGO has said repeatedly expressed its worry that
“Spain’s conviction for sedition of Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart threatens rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly […] and could have a chilling effect that could prevent people from participating in peaceful protests without fear.
16 April 2020: Report on the State of Human Rights in Spain 2020
20 November 2019: Analysis of the Suprem Court’s ruling in the case of Catalan leaders
16 October 2018: A year after their detention in Spain, the Jordis should be released
Front Line Defenders considers Jordi Cuixart a Human Rights defender in risk, and has been monitoring his case and asking for his release since November 2018. About his condemnation,
“Front Line Defenders strongly condemns the conviction for sedition against human rights defender Jordi Cuixart as it believes it resulted from his legitimate and peaceful activities in the defence of human rights.”
23 November 2018: Human rights defender in pre-trial detention for over a year
The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) has repeatedly stated that Cuixart was only exercising human rights, and therefore that his condemnation is against international human rights standards. The also stated that
“The OMCT fears that this ruling could have a deterring effect on future protesters – thus de facto restricting the enjoyment of the right to freedom of assembly in Spain”
14 October 2019: OMCT condemns the disproportionate conviction of Catalan leaders
Pen International, an NGO defending freedom of speech of writers all around the globe, has stated that the sedition charges against Cuixar and Sánchez are clearly excessive.
“We demand that both writers be urgently released and that the verdict be overturned. No one should be jailed for peacefully expressing themselves”
The International Comission of Jurists strongly objected the sentence against the Catalan leaders:
“We are concerned that the Supreme Court does not comply with Spain’s obligations under international human rights law in the consideration of the charges against these defendants”
12 February 2019: Spain: trial of Catalonian leaders imperils human rights
Three different bodies of the United Nations have asked for the immediate release of Jordi Cuixart:
UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions:
“The deprivation of liberty of Jordi Cuixart is arbitrary. The Working Group requests the Government to take the necessary steps to remedy the situation of Mr. Cuixart, Mr. Sánchez and Mr. Junqueras without delay and bring it into conformity with the relevant international norms, including those set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Covenant. “
Special Prodecure to Human Rights Defender against Spain
“Concern is expressed about the arrest and prosecution of Mr. Cuixart for the crime of rebellion, for acts that do not appear to involve violence or incitement to violence by Mr. Cuixart, which would interfere with their rights to public protest and freedom of expression.”
28 January 2019: Mandate of the UN WGAD and 3 UN Special Rapporteurs
UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders
“Defenders of the right to self-determination and in Catalonia have faced increasing restrictions on their activities as a result of recent developments
16 October 2020: Three years after being imprisoned, Cuixart should be released
18 December 2018: World Report on the situation of Human Rights defenders 2018
The Council of Europe Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders included Cuixart in their two last reports on Human Rights Defenders in Risk. He was the only case of an imprisoned Human Rights Defender in an European Union member State.
“Mr Cuixart is accused of sedition, rebellion and criminal conspiracy to organise a peaceful demonstration”
30 March 2021: Situation of human rights defenders in Council of Europe
member States (Ms Alexandra Louis)
26 June 2019: Situation of human rights defenders in Council of Europe
member states (Mr Raphaël Comte)
43 Members of the European Parliament signed an open statement adressed to the Spanish government:
“We consider that the report of Amnesty International regarding Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sánchez sent to the Constitutional Court and the other parties must be taken into consideration by all of them and, accordingly with its conclusions, lead to their immediate release”