Varoufakis and others call on Pedro Sánchez to free political prisoners (#LlibertatPresosPolítics)

Varoufakis and diverse public figures call on the Spanish president to free the Catalan political prisoners

They promote a manifesto in which they urge Pedro Sánchez to find democratic solutions for Catalonia

On 10 September, the government of Pedro Sánchez reaches its 100 days in office. Coinciding with this date, a statement has been released in which a series of figures, both international and from the Spanish state, demand that Sánchez take positive steps with respect to Catalonia.

There are currently nine political prisoners, there are a growing number of politicians and activists in exile and there are few indications that the situation will improve.

Against this background, the statement demands that the government “urge the state prosecutors to act in the courts to bring an end as soon as possible to pre-trial detention, and to abandon accusations (such as “rebellion”) that have no basis in the facts.” In addition, it calls for an end to “the repression in general and specifically the attacks on freedom of expression,” for example by repealing the “Gag Law”. Finally, it asks him to “abandon the PP’s authoritarian approach to Catalonia, based on the courts and the police, and take measures based on dialogue and the search for democratic political solutions.”

The signatures from the world of politics include Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek politician and economist; Andrej Hunko, Die Linke’s spokesperson in the Bundestag for European affairs; the Finnish MP and leader of the Left Alliance (Vasemmistoliitto), Li Andersson; two MPs from Sweden; three MPs from Ireland; the national leadership of Razem, the sister party of Podemos in Poland… From the Spanish State, the call is signed by Lucia Martín González, parliamentary leader of En Comú Podem, as well as Sara Vilà Galán, senator for En Comú Podem.

The signatures from the trade union movement include the president of the Scottish Trades Union Congress (a few months ago the STUC adopted unanimously a similar position at its annual meeting). There are very important signatures from the academic world, such as Boaventura de Sousa Santos. The support from social movement activists ranges from human rights defenders in the Arab world to Tithi Bhattacharya, coordinator of the international women’s strike on 8 March.

The declaration was coordinated by WithCatalonia, an initiative launched following the referendum of 1 October promote the international solidarity with Catalonia by social movements. It currently has a diverse network of solidarity groups that extends from the American continent, through all of Europe, to New Zealand.

Today, WithCatalonia presents the call with the initial signatures. As of now, the network intends to disseminate it as a tool to promote the defence of democracy and human rights among more key figures in politics, the trade unions, social and cultural movements, both nationally and internationally, over the coming months.



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