Delegation of UK MPs meet with Catalan political prisoners

“We never imagined that something like this could happen in the European Union,” said SNP MP Gavin Newlands

A DELEGATION of MPs from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia today [18 September] met with the seven Catalan political prisoners being held at Lledoners prison, awaiting trial for their involvement in the outlawed Catalan independence referendum of 2017.

SNP MP Gavin Newlands told the Catalan News Agency yesterday that the delegation’s visit is intended to “get the attention” of further MPs and raise awareness generally of the still-fraught political situation in Catalonia.

It has been reported that the delegation also hopes to meet with Catalan president Quim Torra and Catalan parliament president Roger Torrent, as well as representatives of the far-left CUP party, members of the Socialist Party, and Eisenda Paluzie, president of the grassroots organisation the Catalan National Assembly.

READ MORE: “Free all Catalan political prisoners”: Glasgow event to show solidarity with Catalonia

Commenting on the imprisonment of numerous Catalan politicians and activists, which has been a point of protest for the Catalan independence movement, Newlands commented: "We never imagined that something like this could happen in the European Union.”

Newlands went on to say that if such “strange, outlandish and cruel” imprisonments "had happened in any other place in the European Union," they would have been greeted with widespread condemnation from political leaders and institutions. With this in mind, Newlands argued that the Catalan situation must be put on the “radar” of the European political class.

On 11 September, more than a million protestors marched in Barcelona in support of Catalonia’s independence and self-declared republic, and demanded the release of all Catalan political prisoners.

One of the speakers at the demonstration, Aamer Anwar, the Scottish human rights advocate and lawyer for the exiled former Catalan minister Clara Ponsati – who successfully prevailed over now-abandoned attempts by Spanish authorities to extradite her on similar charges as her imprisoned colleagues – has repeatedly challenged the Spanish Government to release all Catalan political prisoners.

Picture courtesy of Adolfo Lujan

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