UN calls for release of three jailed pro-independence leaders (Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart)

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has called for the immediate release of three imprisoned pro-independence leaders: activists Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, and former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras.

A report by the group, published by the ‘Nació Digital’ and ‘El País’ newspapers, asks for compensation for all three and considers their detention and imprisonment to be a violation of fundamental rights, especially freedom of speech.

Among the conclusions, they argue that the imprisonment of Junqueras, Sànchez and Cuixart is arbitrary, and that Spain must adopt the necessary measures to repair the situation without delay. It also requires that they be granted the right to obtain compensation in accordance with international law.

The verdict issued by the UN is not binding, but it will be very important to build the future lawsuit in the Strasbourg Court if Spain disobeys it.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detenctions depends on the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which is part of the Secretariat of the organization and has been entrusted by the General Assembly to uphold human rights in the world.

Their defense in this international cause is led by lawyer Ben Emmerson, specializing in human rights and international criminal law. Throughout his career, he has appeared before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, the International Criminal Court in the Hague and the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.



Sant Jordi (St George’s Day)- Day of the Book and the Rose in Kensington, Maryland, on April 28, 2019

Last Sunday the community of Kensington, MD, hosted its annual Festival of the Book that drew thousands of visitors. The Catalan National Assembly in the USA & Friends of Catalonia in the US participated for the 1st time.

Under our yellow canopy -with banners asking for the freedom of our political prisoners- the team of volunteers entertained hundreds of passersby and costumers, telling them about Catalonia, explaining Sant Jordi’s Day -which inspired the Kensington Festival- and conversing about the current political situation in Catalonia.

We sold books on Catalan politics and society in English, translations of Catalan novels and had a free book exchange of books written in the Catalan language. We also gave roses (natural and origami ones) and distributed pamphlets with information on the Catalan language.

It was a sunny day with lots of fun, community building and a great opportunity to bring Catalonia closer to this freedom-loving, cultured community.