Newcastle University UCU branch committee notes the lengthy prison sentences handed out to nine Catalan pro-independence leaders of between 9 and 13 years for sedition. In Spanish law sedition means “rising up publicly and tumultuously” against the law and/or the authorities.
By trying the defendants for sedition rather than the more serious charge of rebellion, there is now the prospect of reopening extradition warrants for those who have been exiled including Professor Clara Ponsati of St Andrews University.
UCU has a policy towards Catalonia carried at Special Congress 18 Oct 2018 and adopted at UCU Congress 2019 which recognises the Catalan people’s right to self-determination and to call for the release and acquittal of all political prisoners.
As these trials cannot be seen in any other way than political in nature we ask our general secretary to:
a) Write to the Spanish Ambassador in London expressing our shock at the handling of a sensitive political issue in this heavy handed manner and for the immediate release of all nine political leaders
b) Convey our solidarity to the prisoners via the All Party Parliamentary Group on Catalonia at the House of Commons
c) Restate our support for Professor Ponsati and pledge our opposition to any attempt to extradite her to Spain.
More information here