On the time I write these strains (June 18, 2021), there are three days left for the Plenary of the Parliamentary Meeting of the Council of Europe to vote on a proposal for a decision of monumental significance, not just for Spain, however for the set of Europe. The movement for a decision is the work of the Latvian Socialist MP Boriss Cilevičs, who had the charge from research the scenario of politicians investigated or in jail for having exercised their freedom of expression. From right here, Cilevičs elaborates a textual content through which he analyzes, on the one hand, the scenario of freedom of expression of politicians in Turkey and, on the opposite, the occasions that occurred in Catalonia in 2017 and the State’s response to them . Right here we’ll solely cope with the half regarding Spain.

The strategy to the report ready by the Latvian editor, and which serves as the premise for the movement for a decision that was authorised on June three by the Committee on Authorized Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Meeting of the Council of Europe and which is voted on by the Plenary on the 21st, is that those that have been tried in Spain for the occasions of 2017, in addition to those that have fled justice and those that are at the moment being investigated (about 2000 officers of the Generalitat of Catalonia) they’re as a result of demonstrations made within the train of their political mandate or for calling peaceable demonstrations. Any longer, The consequence can’t be apart from a delegitimization of the response of the State that leads –Within the model of the proposed decision authorised by the Committee on Authorized Affairs and Human Rights– to ask Spain to pardon those that have been sentenced, withdraw the extradition requests for individuals who fled justice and put an finish to the investigations which can be underway.

If the decision is authorised, it is not going to have obligatory results for Spain. That is only a advice; however this doesn’t diminish its political significance, because it supposes a place taken by one of many establishments that make up the Council of Europe and, due to this fact, of obligatory consideration. We aren’t dealing with a decision that may be aired with a shrug of the shoulders, however we have now to investigate how a proposal that, as we’ll see, has reached this stage not solely consists of errors and misrepresentations; Relatively, it implies taking a place that’s opposite to what are the important ideas of the Council of Europe, amongst which is respect for the rule of legislation and democratic ideas.

Past errors, negligence or clumsy partisan makes an attempt, what is evident is that it has not been doable to clarify what the occasions of 2017 consisted of. The notion overseas is, for essentially the most half, that it was a preferred rebellion that pitted residents towards public energy. Those that had been detained and tried will not be seen for what they had been: authorities and officers who used public energy and assets for an unlawful objective. This angle is absent in its entirety within the doc voted by the Parliamentary Meeting of the Council of Europe and really most likely virtually nobody exterior of Spain assumes it. The fault, to a big extent, is that there are nonetheless many in Spain who refuse to look at what occurred in 2017 from that perspective. It’s, nonetheless, an inexcusable strategy.

In 2017 what occurred is that the authorities on the head of the autonomous authorities of Catalonia (greater than 25,000 million euros of annual finances) determined to cease appearing inside the constitutional and authorized framework to represent an impartial State within the territory of the Autonomous Neighborhood, which required the repeal of the Structure, which was ready via the so-called disconnection legal guidelines authorised on September 6 and seven within the Parliament of Catalonia. For a number of weeks, these authorities managed to get the autonomous establishments to undertake norms and selections that contravened the Structure and that entailed disobeying the Constitutional Court docket. As well as, this motion of the general public energy exterior the legislation meant that public assets had been devoted to unlawful functions and that the rights of residents had been violated, together with their proper to privateness, by utilizing private knowledge with out their consent for the preparation of an unlawful census. The aim of those that participated on this try and repeal the Structure in Catalonia included the demonstration of the shortcoming of the State to function within the Catalan territoryTo this finish, the blocking of a judicial fee on September 20, the holding of the self-determination referendum on October 1 and likewise the so-called “nation strike” on October three was framed.

It’s these details that served as the premise for the conviction by the Supreme Court docket, for the give up requests of these concerned who’re exterior of Spain and for the investigations which can be open: embezzlement of public funds, illegitimate use of private knowledge, disobedience by public authorities to judicial selections and an try and render the Spanish Structure ineffective within the territory of Catalonia. The proposed decision that’s meant to be authorised by the Council of Europe doesn’t enter into any of the above, however relatively makes a distorted story that features apparent falsehoods (For instance, that in September the Ministry of the Inside took management of the Mossos d’Esquadra, which didn’t occur till October 27, after the approval by the Senate of the measures that the federal government proposed on the premise of of article 155 of the Structure). For the aforementioned decision, the response of the Spanish state was to mere statements or to the decision for demonstrations which can be thought-about peaceable, even though the identical report by the rapporteur acknowledges that there have been greater than 400 law enforcement officials injured in a single day.

The truth that the decision doesn’t enter what’s mentioned right here doesn’t make it disappear. The occasions that occurred are these defined right here, so {that a} decision of the Parliamentary Meeting that delegitimizes the response of the State towards them supposes to guard the misappropriation of public funds, the unlawful use of private knowledge of residents, the obstruction of the duty of judicial or police commissions in compliance with court docket orders and the try and repeal the Structure whatever the procedures supplied by it. Briefly, it represents a delegitimization of the rule of legislation and a victory for populism.

That’s the reason the approval of the proposed decision that we’re commenting on is critical. From the Spanish perspective, it signifies that one of many European international locations with the very best degree of democracy in keeping with worldwide rankings and one of many ones which have acquired the fewest convictions by the Strasbourg Court docket must be thought-about as a State within the that you may find yourself in jail for guaranteeing political statements or calling for peaceable demonstrations. From the angle of the entire of Europe it implies that an establishment such because the Council of Europe, which is a benchmark within the protection of democratic ideas and the rule of legislation, abandons this protection to guard populism which claims that the actions of public powers exterior the legislation are reputable and that petitions, even when they’re unlawful and violate particular person rights, in the event that they discover help within the streets, should be addressed. It’s a time for all of us to behave responsibly and for these of us who nonetheless consider that the rule of legislation and the remainder of the ideas that give which means to our democracies.

Allow us to increase our voices towards the abandonment of those ideas by those that are known as to protect and defend them.

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