Nine MEPs from the EU-Catalonia Dialogue Platform visited the Catalan independence leaders in the Lledoners prison on Thursday evening. François Alfonsi (Greens-EFA), Pernando Barrena (GUE-NGL), Benoît Biteau (Greens-EFA), Leila Chaïbi (GUE-NGL), Clare Daly (GUE-NGL), Katerina Konecna (GUE-NGL), Diana Riba (Greens-EFA), Michèle Rivasi (Greens-EFA) and Mick Wallace (GUE-NGL) were part of the Delegation.
“We hoped that we would have the privilege of meeting our colleague Oriol Junqueras in Brussels. That we had to travel here to see him in a prison. I find it quite shocking. It’s absolute madness, he has immunity everywhere in Europe, yet he cannot come to Spain because the Spanish judiciary has said it’s not possible. That’s outrageous to the people who voted for him and to all citizens of the European Union,” said MEP Clare Daly after visiting him in prison. In fact, in December, the European Court of Justice ruled that Junqueras, who is serving 13 years for the 2017 independence bid, should have immunity as an MEP. Yet, when Spain’s Supreme Court upheld his conviction, the EU parliament removed his member status.
“Having met the Catalan political prisoners, we are more determined than ever to speak out for democracy and fundamental rights in Catalonia”, she added.
“We hope that the bilateral negotiation table that will be established between the Spanish and Catalan governments to discuss the independence conflict will help to bring solutions”, said MEP François Alfonsi.
Part of the delegation also visited former Speaker of the Catalan parliament Carme Forcadell, who is detained at the Mas d’Enric prison, and met with Catalan president Quim Torra and Foreign Affairs minister Alfred Bosch.