18th October 2021
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Strasbourg rejects lawsuit against Catalan parliament suspension

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg has ruled that the Spanish Constitutional Court‘s suspension of the Catalan Parliament plenary session due to the place on 9 October after the 2017 independence referendum, did not violate human rights and has declared the case ‘inadmissible’.

The lawsuit brought by 76 plaintiffs, including the former parliament speaker Carme Forcadell (who is currently a defendant in the Catalan Trial) and former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, alleged that the suspension of the session on 9 October violated rights of expression, assembly and representation.

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In this photo taken on 27 October 2017, Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Turull and Raul Romeva applaud after Catalonia’s parliament voted to declare independence from Spain. (Lluis Gene / AFP)

However, the high court in Strasbourg rejected the accusations, calling the suspension ‘necessary in a democratic society and in particular for the maintenance of public safety, the defense of order, and the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.’

Parliament was to have met on 9 October so that Puigdemont could provide an evaluation of the 1 October 2017 referendum results. However, the Strasbourg high court considers that his public appearance the next day makes the suit ‘manifestly unfounded’.

Spain’s Constitutional Court suspended the session on 5 October 2017, after the Catalan Socialist (PSC) party appealed to the court on the grounds that the referendum had been declared illegal, and warning that the session would be used for ‘a formal declaration of independence’.

 

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