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Government rejects Council of Europe report on process and calls several of its recommendations “inconsistent”

Posted: Monday June 21 2021 11:28 PM

The government expressed its “general reproach” to the report approved on Monday by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the situation of the detainees on trial, because, according to the Executive, “it calls into question the freedom of expression of politicians in Spain. “.

This report, which addresses both the situation of the Kurdish politicians imprisoned in Turkey and that of the Catalan separatists in prison, urges Spain to “consider the pardon or the release” of the imprisoned separatist politicians, a measure of pardon which, specifically, Pedro Sánchez officially announced this Monday.

However, the text, while recognizing that Spain is “a living democracy with a culture of free and open public debate”, asks the government “to consider the possibility of putting an end to the extradition procedures” against Carles Puigdemont and the rest of the politicians on the run. Spain, as well as the abandonment of the still ongoing processes of lower-ranking officials.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry qualifies precisely as “inconsistent” those recommendations which “urge the executive to put an end to ongoing legal proceedings and extraditions”, which – he warns – “comes into conflict with the respect for the principle of separation of powers “.

In this sense, he also criticizes that the Assembly has not approved two amendments to the aforementioned recommendations “which invite the Spanish authorities to abandon the current procedures and the extraditions” and that, insists the ministry, “come into direct confrontation” with this “basic principle”.

In its note, the department headed by Arancha González Laya also indicated that in the document “the original vice of treating the cases of Spain and Turkey together persists, and of presuming that the Catalan independence leaders could be prosecuted for having expressed their ideas “. An idea which, according to Foreign Affairs, “continues to appear in different parts of the text and is particularly present in the rapporteur’s note”.

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