Verslagen en kantekeningen bij ‘Het Proces’

In 2017 zijn Catalaanse leiders van maatschappelijke organisaties en politiek leiders door Spanje in voorarrest genomen. Het strafproces tegen hen begon op 12 februari 2019. Wil je ze een kaartje sturen? Dat kan hier.
achtergronden:

Updates in het Nederlands, vanuit de rechtszaal in Madrid:

Violation of Fundamental Rights in Europe: The Catalan Trial as a Case Study

(Donderdag 25 april)

artikel overgenomen van: https://xnet-x.net/en/violation-fundamental-rights-eu-catalan-trial/

The question of independence may be more or less important for us. We might even be totally against it but this is not the issue we wish to draw attention to here.
The precision and excellence of the legal arguments presented by Benet Salellas, lawyer for one of the accused in the trial—Jordi Cuixart—provides a clear example of the dangers presently threatening human rights in Spain and Europe.
Unlike the others accused (him and all of them in jail since almost 2 years, before been convicted), his client has NEVER been a politician. He is a businessman and president of the association Omnium Cultural, which is pro-independence but always working within its traditional, totally regularised framework of activities ever since the association was founded in 1961. Since then, with dozens of branches throughout Catalonia, it has engaged in a wide range of activities promoting Catalan language and culture.

We have transcribed and subtitled part of Salellas’ defence statement because what is happening in Catalonia is not a problem of Catalonia but a problem of Europe and the democratic principles on which it is supposed to be founded.
Catalonia is not the only case with signs of a drift to authoritarianism in a country’s institutions. These patterns are being repeated in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and elsewhere. This is why it is important to detect them and make them known so that Europe and its peoples will be able to respond and reaffirm the values of democracy and basic freedoms.

THE CHILLING EFFECT: IF THE EXERCISE OF BASIC RIGHTS IS BEING JUDGED, THE INSTITUTIONS ARE CONVEYING THE MESSAGE THAT EXERCISING OUR RIGHTS CAN BE DANGEROUS

“We understand that the reason why my client stands accused solely and exclusively pertains to matters involving the exercise of basic rights. Hence, we understand that, with regard to my client, starting a trial in which the only matter being discussed is the exercise of basic rights could mean that it will become a trial about basic rights or, to put it simply and straightforwardly, even a trial against basic rights in terms of the well-known concept of the “chilling effect”, which has already been invoked by some of my colleagues.

If, in the end, people are put on trial because they exercise their basic rights, the message sent out by the institutions to citizens is that there is a danger in exercising basic rights and this will therefore discourage citizens from exercising those rights, which means that the democratic system could end up being void of content.”





English subtitles available. Click on the subtitle icon to enable them.

   

FREEDOM OF EXPESSION AS A CRIME?

“In our brief we raise, first of all, the matter of freedom of expression (…). Concern over this issue seems to be shared by both the prosecution and the State Counsel (p. 67 for the prosecution and p. 50 for the State Counsel). The indictment reads, “The initiative of Omnium Cultural, which created the website Let Catalans Vote, was determinant in obtaining the support of people who are more or less well-known in the international sphere, and in sustaining protests over legal action taken to shut down the referendum websites”.

This is what we are accused of, and the reason why such a harsh sentence has been requested in the case of Mr Jordi Cuixart. And this is the matter regarding which we must appraise the evidence in this case. And what is this matter? Seeking support for a political demand for a referendum from people as well-known as Noam Chomsky and the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams—and we have requested that they should be called as witnesses in this plenum but the court considers that they do not constitute relevant testimony—but, in any case, can it be a criminal offence to seek support for a demand for a referendum from these personalities? Can this be a criminal offence appearing in an indictment? We believe that this cannot be so in a democratic system.”


English subtitles available. Click on the subtitle icon to enable them.

 
 

FREEDOM OF POLITICAL OPINION AS A CRIME?

“Second part of the case: protesting over the official shutdown of websites, or protesting the government shutdown of 200 websites, as happened in Catalonia. Must we condemn civil society for being alert and vigilant regarding possible abuse of basic rights? We believe that this should not be the case and that, therefore, this charge should not appear in an indictment.

Less than a year ago, Spain was condemned in the European Court of Human Rights over its violation of the basic right of freedom of expression. This concerned a ruling, of which the court is well aware, whereby the citizens Jaume Roure and Enric Estern were found guilty by the Spanish state of committing a crime, although the European Court of Human Rights considers that their conduct was an exercise of freedom of expression. The sentence of the European court tells us that with regard to citizens criticising power and criticising the institutions, there are practically no limits to freedom of expression. It says that Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights leaves virtually no space for restrictions on freedom of expression in political discourse and debate.

This is a position that the European Court of Human Rights ratified last summer, on 28 August 2018, in a ruling against Russia stating that civil servants acting in an official capacity are subject to wider limits of acceptable criticism than ordinary citizens, and still more so when such criticism concerns a whole public institution. This is an example which is relevant here: creating a web page, and seeking political support for protest against a government shutdown of this web page. In our understanding, this is a situation which, at the very least, comes close to violation of the basic right of freedom of expression. And, if I may say so, this is a right we all invoke, and we ask the court to ensure its protection and guarantees in this instance.”

English subtitles available. Click on the subtitle icon to enable them.

read more: https://xnet-x.net/en/violation-fundamental-rights-eu-catalan-trial/

  • THE RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY: HOW TO MONITOR THE INSTITUTIONS?

  • IS THERE A BASIC RIGHT OF TERRITORIAL UNITY?

  • CAN A WORD BE A CRIME BECAUSE OF ITS HISTORY?

  • DO CITIZENS HAVE THE DUTY TO DEFEND BASIC RIGHTS?

  • RESTRICTED EVIDENCE

  • A CIVILIAN FACING AN EXCEPTIONAL COURT

  • DID AN UNAUTHORISED SEARCH LEAD TO PROLONGED TENSION LASTING 20 HOURS IN THE STREETS?

  • IN SPAIN AS IN AZERBAIJAN?

  • JUSTICE WITHOUT POWER IS INEFFICIENT AND POWER WITHOUT JUSTICE IS TYRANNY

  • EXCERPTS FROM JORDI CUIXART`S STATEMENT

  • STATEMENT BY NJCM-TRIAL OBSERVATION: CATALAN SEPARATISTS AND PROTEST LEADERS, SUPREME COURT IN MADRID

 
 


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