Un observador inglés (12) – This needs international mediation, not international arrest warrants.

The news is breaking fast – faster than usual – and so it’s just a short blog this week for various reasons.

This time last Sunday, Carles Puigdemont was in Geneva, attending the ‘International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights’. From there, he went to Finland. At the time of writing this, he has been detained in Germany, on his return to Belgium, as a result of Spanish judge Llarena reactivating a European Arrest Warrant for him, as well as for other Catalan politicians in self-imposed/forced exile. Time will tell what the German authorities will do – but Spanish prosecutors are already trying to force an extradition order. Switzerland has already stated that it will not proceed with any extraditions on political motives (politicians Anna Gabriel and Marta Rovira are in Switzeland). I’d personally be surprised if the UK also extradited Clara Ponsatí, who is teaching at St.Andrews University in Scotland. She’d travelled to Austria, and then also visited Munich and London (where she took part in a protest) last week, all before the EAW was reissued. Three other Catalan politicians remain in Belgium, where they have already complied with legal authorities there … at least when the EAW was initially issued and then later withdrawn.

I could try and sum up the week’s news … I could mention the Telva photographs of Ines Arrimadas in the Catalan Parliament, or Cristina Cifuentes’s (non-existent?) university grades, or the Belgium v Spain rugby match, or the Director of Communications for the European Parliament receiving the ‘Orden de Isabel la Católica’ Award from Spain (why? why?), or about Puigdemont’s foreign trips causing ‘certain discomfort’ to Spain’s foreign minister (obviously), or about N.Sarkozy being investigated for election funding fraud (unlike M.Rajoy), or that ‘far-right clowns’ dressed up in Guardia Civil uniforms tried to break into Puigdemont’s house in Belgium, or that Joaqium Forn was denied release from prison again, even with €100k bail … or that the imprisoned Jordi Sánchez relinquished his candidacy for the Catalan Presidency to Jordi Turull, who has now also been imprisoned, along with 4 others: Carme Forcadell, Raül Romeva, Dolors Bassa and Josep Rull. Because that is the real news. Yes … there are now 9 Catalan politicians in prison, and 7 others in self-imposed/forced exile (at the time of writing). They are all where they are because of Spain’s trumped-up charges of plotting and/or actually causing a ‘rebellion’; in reality, they tried to organise a vote, a referendum.

I’ve written here before about the unjust justice system in Spain. I’ve written about the ghosts of Francoism. I’ve written about Felipe VI’s diabolical speech on the Catalan issue, (and here, tooand here), and why I think the EU’s handling of it all stinks. I’ve written about the recent reports criticising Human Rights and freedom of expression in Spain. And I’ve written several times about the need for dialogue and mediation in this whole Spain/Catalonia affair.

From my point of view, 9 Catalan politicians are in jail and 7 others are in exile for one simple reason: Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, refuses to accept the results of the Catalan elections that he himself called on 21 December last year, after also applying article 155 to Catalonia. That, again in my opinion, is a disgrace. It is even more of a disgrace that the EU Commission has turned a blind eye to it. This doesn’t need international arrest warrants. It needs international mediation. And it now needs it urgently.

8 thoughts on “Un observador inglés (12) – This needs international mediation, not international arrest warrants.

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    March 25, 2018 at 3:48pm

    No doubt the European Commission has leaned on the Germans. Puigdemont is showing up European Institutions for what they are… apparatchik cabals where lip service is paid to Citizen’s rights, and dissidents must be liqui…sorry, brought to justice!

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      Pere Puigmartí Bellart

      March 25, 2018 at 4:08pm

      Thaks again, Sir.

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    Juli Costa-Esteban

    March 25, 2018 at 5:08pm

    Thanks once more for your unbiased blog Tim.

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    Susan Koller

    March 25, 2018 at 8:34pm

    Excellent summary and the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. On the Swiss news this evening they said the Spanish secret service had notified Germany that Puigdemont was travelling through the country. Without this they wouldn’t have had a chance of stopping him. The UK news only commented on the demo in Barcelona, without going into further detail. It does stink, Tim, it stinks to high heaven. The Germans should be wary, they have a fascist past they’d like to shake off and if they hand Puigdemont over to a country with the same fascist roots, it will be very bad publicity. Especially since Merkel is coming down right now on Turkey like a ton of bricks because of the political prisoners they are holding – including Germans and other Europeans. Where is the difference between Turkey and Spain? Somewhere no doubt in the deep crevices of political corruption. Is there nothing one can do?

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    Rebeccah Rothwell

    March 25, 2018 at 11:04pm

    Excellent articles, please keep writing! Now the Catalan people need to do something other than the violence in the streets that I’m watching on TV3 now. The CUP is asking for investiture of Puigdemont tomorrow.

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    March 26, 2018 at 8:28pm

    you couldn’t explain it better, moltes gràcies and be sure Catalans will resist and succeed on deciding our own future !

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    March 26, 2018 at 9:39pm

    Just a sobering thought, or reality check, from someone who, as a native, knows the Spanish inner soul: number one, Catalonia is a big chunk of the Spanish state and economy, therefore it won’t be going. The economic forces won’t allow that to happen. Number two, and that will suffice, the Spanish army is watching. If need be, tanks will be in the streets, game over. About half the population in Spain and in Catalonia would approve of. As I said, reality check …

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    March 27, 2018 at 5:30pm

    THANK YOU. Deeply thankkful for the truth to be seen.

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