19th August 2019
Ada Colau
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Barcelona mayor visits jailed Catalan leaders

Barcelona mayor Ada Colau visited jailed pro-independence Catalan leaders in the Lledoners prison on Friday.

This is not the first time Colau has gone to see those held in the Catalan penitentiary centre, and this visit was to see them before their transfer to Madrid in the coming days in preparation for their trial.

Days before the proceedings begin, Colau stated that it’s necessary to denounce what constitutes ‘a very serious violation of fundamental rights’.

The mayor also urged expressing ‘rejection to a situation to which we should not get used to’, a feeling which she deemed the ‘majority’ of the Catalan population shares.

Ada Colau
Ada Colau speaks to the media outside Lledoners prison on 11 January 2019 (Gemma Aleman / via ACN)

Leaving the prison, the Barcelona mayor announced that an institutional statement rejecting the ‘unjust’ situation of the jailed leaders will be included at the next local council on 25 January.

ALSO READ: Jailed leaders to defend ‘legitimacy’ of referendum

The Barcelona mayor has, during Catalonia’s push for independence, positioned herself between blocs: neither for a unilateral declaration of independence, nor in support of Madrid’s measures to stop it.

The seven leaders held in Lledoners prison are activists Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Cuixart and deposed former government members Oriol Junqueras, Joaquim Forn, Josep Rull, Jordi Turull, and Raül Romeva.

Next week, Colau will also visit the two jailed women: former speaker Carme Forcadell, held in Mas d’Enric, and former government minister Dolors Bassa, at Puig de les Basses.

The nine people are in pre-trial jail for their role in Catalonia’s push for independence. The public prosecutor has requested a joint total 177 years prison sentence, including 25 years for Oriol Junqueras, the highest individual proposed sentence.

The sensitive trial will start more than a year after Catalan leaders in the northeastern region attempted to break away from Spain in October 2017 by staging the referendum despite a court ban.

They subsequently proclaimed independence but Spain’s then conservative government moved swiftly to depose the Catalan executive, dissolve the regional parliament and call snap local elections in December.

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