Fascist Madrid Supreme Court’s Politicized Sentencing

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Fascist Madrid Supreme Court’s Politicized Sentencing

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Spain is a fascist dictatorship, masquerading as democratic. Its ruling authorities and unjust high court justices are hostile to fundamental rights affirmed under international law.

Last February, 12 activist Catalan  politicians were tried before Spain’s kangaroo supreme court — falsely charged with rebellion, misuse of public funds, and civil disobedience.

All 12 were prosecuted and convicted for supporting the universally recognized right of self-determination — affirmed by the UN Charter, saying “the principle of equal rights and self-determination of people” is inviolable.

Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states:

“All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states “(e)veryone has the right to a nationality (self-determination). No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his (or her) nationality nor denied the right to change his (or her) nationality.”

Catalans are entitled to the same rights as everyone else everywhere. Under international law, people everywhere have the right to choose their sovereignty and political status with no outside interference.

This fundamental principle is  regarded as jus cogens, a higher or compelling law.

In October 2017, Catalans overwhelming voted for independence by national referendum. Madrid and Spain’s Constitutional Court refused to recognize the results, defying international law.

Twelve activist Catalan politicians were scapegoated for supporting the rights of their people — imprisoned unjustly since 2017.

On Monday, nine pro-independence activist politicians were wrongfully railroaded to from 9 to 13 year imprisonment for sedition and misuse of funds — despite having committed no crimes.

Justice was absent in the courtroom when sentences were announced, how all fascist police states operate.

Former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras received the harshest sentence, getting 13 years imprisonment. 

Former ministers Jordi Turull, Raul Romeva and Dolors Bassa got 12 years each, former parliament speaker Carme Forcadell 11.5 years.

Former ministers Josep Rull and Joaquim Form received 10-year sentences, Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart 9 years each.

Combined they received 99.5 years imprisonment for the “crime” of supporting the universally recognized right of self-determination everyone everywhere deserves.

Activists Carles Mundo, Santi Vila and Meritxell Borras were each fined 60,000 euros for “disobedience,” no prison sentence imposed.

In response to the sentences, Open University of Catalonia Criminology Professor Marc Balcells called the high court’s action unacceptably “strong and harsh penal populism.”

“Where are the limits,” he asked? “Can we demonstrate. Can we not demonstrate?” It’s a fundamental free expression right.

Moments after sentences were announced, protests erupted in Barcelona and elsewhere in Catalonia, thousands taking to the streets, occupying public places and blocking roads. continuing for a third day on Wednesday.

Student unions began striking Wednesday morning. A major Friday Barcelona rally is planned, thousands of city residents and other Catalans expected to participate.

Since Monday, autonomous Catalonia has experienced mass outrage over the unacceptable supreme court sentences.

Security forces responded with tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, beatings and other police state tactics.

Dozens were injured, others arrested. Lawyers representing convicted activists condemned the sentences, Oriol Junqueeras’ attorney Andreu Van den Eynde, slamming the high court for “creating this criminal code of dissidence.”

Dolors Bassa’s attorney Mariano Berges said “(w)e did not expect either sedition or embezzlement, nor the crimes for which she was condemned, let alone the years of imprisonment.”

Lawyers representing others wrongfully sentenced called verdict against their clients the culmination of a “political (show) trial (with) dangerous implications for freedom of expression.”

The arrests, politicized show trials, and wrongful convictions are supported by Brussels and individual EU nations.

Equity and justice no longer exist in the US and other Western countries, police state injustice replacing them.

What happened in Catalonia can repeat anywhere in the West any time against activists for peace, democratic values and the rule of law.

VISIT MY NEW WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

 

My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.