The nine prisoners convicted of the ‘procés’ have left the jail after this morning the Supreme Court ordered their release
Three hours after the BOE published the pardons, the nine prisoners of the ‘procès’ have left prison this morning. The seven male secessionist leaders –
Oriol Junqueras, Raül Romeva, Jordi Cuixart, Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull and Joaquim Forn– they have abandoned the Lledoners (Barcelona) prison,
Carme forcadell has said goodbye to the Barcelona women’s prison and
Bassa Pain, from that of Les Puig de les Basses (Girona). The first to do so, two minutes after twelve, was Forcadell.
Three and a half years after their imprisonment, the secessionist leaders, sentenced to sentences of nine to thirteen years for their involvement in the events of October 2017, have been released, surrounded by hundreds of people, in three tributes -one per prison- taxed by the independence groups.
They have come out with their fists raised, waving a star, defending self-determination and amnesty, very happy and reaffirming their commitment to secession.
The prisoners have presented their release from prison as a “victory” for the independence movement, as a first victory until the final victory of independence. As the released leaders have expressed in their first words after leaving prison, their release has only been possible thanks to citizen mobilization and the electoral victories of secessionism. Messages in an internal key to the independence parish, which collide with some of the things that some of them have written in recent days, such as Junqueras or Sànchez, before being pardoned. All of them have demanded amnesty and the return of the “exiles”, specifically Carles Puigdemont, and have pledged to continue fighting for independence.
The first to leave prison was Carme Forcadell. The former president of the Parliament has been received amid applause and shouts of independence, as have the rest of the pro-independence leaders afterwards.
“Thank you very much to all the people who have mobilized for our freedom”said Forcadell, who has considered that the releases “are a step towards the end of repression.”
“It is true that the repression is not over yet, but this is a first step. Of course, we cannot forget that now there are only nine people out there », agreed Dolors Bassa, former Minister of Labor.
The triumphant atmosphere has been repeated at the gates of the Lledoners prison, where Cuixart, Sánchez, Forn, Rull, Turull, Romeva and Junqueras have posed with a star and a flag with the motto ‘Freedom for Catalonia’. None of them have shown the slightest sign of regret.
«Today is a day in which the Catalans and Catalans reaffirm ourselves. There is no pardon to silence the people of Catalonia », said Cuixart, president of Ómninum Cultural. Jordi Sànchez, former president of the ANC, has warned that “there will be no silence in exchange for pardons.”
Former councilors Forn, Rull, Turull and Romeva have maintained the belligerent tone towards Spain and the challenge to reach the Catalan republic.
“We will continue fighting for independence and we will achieve it”, has summarized Rull.
The last to speak was Oriol Junqueras. The former vice-president of the Generalitat stressed that today all those convicted renew “the commitment to work for all those reprisals and for the freedom of Catalonia.” “And independence is the freedom of this country,” he concluded before noting the pardons will continue working to
“Make the dream of a Catalan republic come true”.
The independence movement has mobilized to cover those already expressed in their release from prison. The president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, the secessionist parties and the sovereignist platforms traveled to Lledoners to give their support to the pardoned. On the esplanade that overlooks the prison entrance, a stage was installed from which pardoned leaders are expected to pronounce their first words after being released. The president of the Parliament, Laura Borràs, went to the Barcelona women’s prison to support Forcadell. Secessionism is working on a great reception ceremony, in the Palau de la Generalitat or in the Parliament for the next few days. The objective is to present the pardons not as a defeat for the movement, but as a “triumph”, as Oriol Junqueras stated days ago, as a victory over the Spanish State, under the pressure of an unfavorable ruling from the European Court of Human Rights or the Council of Europe.
As stated yesterday by the President of the Generalitat, the prisoners will leave with “heads held high” and “ideals intact.” “They leave with the reinforced will to build a free and just Catalan republic and with the conviction that it is time to respect the popular will of the Catalans to definitively resolve the conflict between Catalonia and the Spanish State,” he said.