Spain: EuroMed Rights -FIDH observation mission to trial of pro-independence Catalan leaders

Paris-Brussels – Feb 01, 2018

Brussels-Paris – Feb 01, 2018 – The trial of 18 persons accused of crimes of rebellion, disobedience and misappropriation of public funds will start next week at the Spanish Supreme Court.
The sensitive nature of the case and the judicial proceedings carried out so far have led EuroMed Rights and the FIDH to send a trial observation mission to ensure the proper conduct of the process, in line with international standards for a fair trial.

Trial 20907/2017 before the Spanish Supreme Court is a criminal case against 18 people accused of crimes of rebellion, disobedience and misappropriation of public funds. The public prosecutor demands 177 years in prison. The judicial process began with the events related to the referendum of 1 October 2017 and the trial will start on 12 February 2019 in Madrid. Nine of the accused have been in custody since March 2018 and, some of them, since October 2017.

In addition to the 18 accused, seven other people who are currently in other European countries are being prosecuted in the same trial.
The judicial proceedings carried out so far and the events described in the accusations have led our organizations to question the respect of fundamental rights in this judicial process including the right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and demonstration, as well as the right to a fair trial.

In this context, EuroMed Rights and FIDH have sent Dominique Noguères, Vice-president of the French League for Human Rights (on behalf of EuroMed Rights) and Emmanuel Daoud, member of the FIDH litigation team, to attend the hearing and see if the accused enjoy a fair trial before an independent and impartial tribunal, in accordance with international human rights law.

EuroMed Rights and the FIDH call, therefore, on the Spanish government to ensure that international observers can attend the trial without any obstacles.