From freedom (5)

The Supreme Court's brief erodes the very foundations of political pluralism

Winter is hard in Soto del Real Prison, especially for those of us who have grown up with the relative comfort of Mediterranean winters. Though our Mediterranean is unable to sweeten the cold that penetrates the prison, the thousands of words that reach me daily from all over the country and from abroad have this effect on me. Words that depict a geography of love and values that neither have nor desire frontiers, which are expressed from their own indispensable will to exist, with no wish to impose identities, languages or laws. What breaks the cold of the days and the chill of the nights in cell 205 is the geography of fraternity, equality and freedom that transcends each and every one of the letters that I have received throughout the last 4 months.

Yes, it's been 4 months since myself and Jordi Cuixart were sent to prison. And no one knows for sure when it will end. We need to be patient and not lose our way, but we must also be aware of the absurdity that has befallen us. I haven’t been kidnapped, I’m a prisoner; but I feel as helpless as a hostage. I realise that the rules of the game we are forced to play keep changing in an attempt to delay our release from jail. I have no idea why the criteria that enabled individuals who were being investigated in the same case to be released from prison and even to avoid it entirely don’t apply for Forn, Junqueres, Cuixart and myself. It is difficult to find an answer within the law.

If we look closely at the briefs and judge’s statements in the case dealing with the events of 1 October, we can see that they are at odds with a number precedents set by the Constitutional Court, and with the Audiencia Nacional —and even Supreme Court’s— jurisprudence.

We are trapped in a powerful regressive drift that affects fundamental principles and rights involving the constitutional order that, until now, nobody had thought to question. It is a regressive drift that places me —myself and the others imprisoned with me— in a situation of utmost powerlessness, not formally defenceless, but defenceless in practice.

What makes me suspect of criminal recidivism are my thoughts and my pro-independence beliefs

An example —the most recent— perfectly illustrates what I am talking about. Here is a verbatim quote from the investigating judge’s own words and arguments upon denying my release from prison: "the applicant [referring to me] maintains his pro-independence views, which, though constitutionally valid, makes it impossible to convince one that criminal recidivism is not possible, unlike with someone who espouses the opposite political views".
In short, what makes me suspect of criminal recidivism are my thoughts and my pro-independence beliefs.

In an attempt to argue against the request for my release, the Supreme Court's brief erodes the very foundations of political pluralism on which every democratic system —including Spain’s, until now— is necessarily sustained. Making a political idea the determining factor in attributing possible criminal actions in the future is the criminalization of said ideas. It is the beginning of the end of a democratic state and the rule of law. The denial of the essence of political liberalism. An open door to the persecution of political ideas contrary to the ones held by the dominant group. A dangerous step towards the beginnings of authoritarianism. An extremely troubling development.

I sincerely ask that no one belittles my words or takes them out of context. Nowhere have I stated that Spain is currently an authoritarian system. If I believed that to be true, I would say so. I am referring to a regressive twist —which adds to others that Josep Ramoneda, with his typical clarity, has repeatedly denounced on these very pages— and which aside from the consequences and obvious harm it now causes me (remaining in prison on remand) its mere expression in a judicial declaration by the Supreme Court serves as a warning of the devastating consequences that it may have for fundamental rights, the pillars of any democratic system, including the Spanish state up until now.

It is extremely worrying that there are those who are prepared to kill the liberal foundations of democracy in order to prevent the democratic and peaceful expression of the sovereignty movement in Catalonia. Let’s not get side-tracked. This is about democracy itself. And, by the way, thank you for not forgetting us!