The experts are concerned about the violations of Spanish and
international law by Spain and "a clear lack of separation of powers"
team of renowned international jurists determines that the actions of
the Spanish Government against the Catalan independence movement are
experts are concerned about the violations of Spanish and international
law by Spain and "a clear lack of separation of powers."Speaking
to the German newspaper "Junge Welt", one of these experts, the
president of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights
(ECCHR) in Berlin, Wolfgang Kaleck, calls for the intervention of the
member states and the EU institutions.
By KRYSTYNA SCHREIBER
A group of international legal experts, including France's Jean Paul
Costa, former president of the European Court of Human Rights, and
Belgian François Tulkens, former judge of the same court, has published a
report assessing the actions of the Spanish Government against the
Catalan independence movement from the point of view of the
proportionality of the measures and their compatibility with
Wolfgang Kaleck, founder and president of the European Center for
Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and a member of the group of
experts who drafted the report, expresses the importance of these issues
in an interview with the German newspaper, Junge Welt: debate about
whether secession would be legal or not, but a large part of the
measures of the Spanish state that we have been analyzing was applied
before the declaration of independence. At the legal level it would have to be differentiated more ». The German expert also recalls that "even several Spanish jurists have questioned the legality of these actions".
According to Kaleck, at the request of the Esquerra Republicana de
Catalunya (ERC) party, this group of experts has analyzed independently
and from a purely legal perspective both the measures of the Spanish
Constitutional Court against the work of the deputies of the Catalan
Parliament and the persecution criminal law to which they have been
subjected between 2013 and 2017.
Violations of basic rights and lack of division of powers
International jurists conclude that these are measures that involve serious violations of legality and the division of powers.
The fact that the Constitutional Court can determine what is debated
and what is voted in the Catalan Parliament and the fact that Catalan
deputies are prosecuted on a legal and criminal level for "disobedience"
implies "a frontal attack on fundamental rights such as freedom of
opinion and of meeting », according to the experts.
"If I, as a politician, journalist or activist, manifest myself in
favor of the independence of Catalonia and publish it in a newspaper
article, in a demonstration, an assembly or as a political resolution, I
do not have to be penalized," he says. Kaleck.
The report also determines that it is disproportionate to arrest
members of the Government and to impose fines of up to twelve thousand
euros a day for having prepared the referendum on October 1, or to
pursue legally some Catalan politicians for organizing the non-binding
popular consultation of November 9, 2014. The latter is precisely the
reason why the former president of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Artur
Mas, was disqualified for two years, besides having to pay a
multi-million dollar fine.
According to the jurists, these measures are illegal, because
organizing a referendum or a referendum does not involve any crime in
the Spanish Criminal Code.
A procedure that is particularly questionable is that of the
Constitutional Court, which has relied on its own resolutions as the
legal basis for the legal persecution of politicians, despite the fact
that these alleged crimes are not included in the Spanish Criminal Code.
According to the report of the experts, the Constitutional Court
"adopts a political and legislative role whose purpose is to keep Spain
united." In this case, there is a violation of the separation of powers.
Europe must act
Wolfgang Kaleck is also concerned about the hundreds of Catalan
citizens and politicians legally persecuted for peacefully defending the
independence of Catalonia that already reaches 900 people.
Even so, the president of the European Center for Constitutional and
Human Rights in the German capital considers that activating
international judicial bodies is a possible procedure but very slow and
As we must speak of hundreds of cases of violation of rights by the
Spanish State, are the other states and institutions of the European
Union who should act: "The Spanish Government can not, on the one hand,
argue that acts on behalf of the unity of Europe and, on the other, not
respecting what precisely constitutes Europe: minimum legal standards.
I believe that the European institutions have an obligation to defend
the respect of the fundamental rights that are granted to citizens,