Following the decision of the Supreme Spanish Court to jail nine Catalan prisoners, Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus MacNeil has tabled parliamentary questions to the Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth, Dominic Raab, to find out what discussions he has had with his counterparts in Spain and each country in the European Union.
The Spanish court sentenced the nine pro-independence leaders to between 9-13 years in jail for sedition.
Former vice president Oriol Junqueras, an elected member of the European and Spanish Parliaments, will serve 13 years behind bars, with former ministers Jordi Turull, Raül Romeva and Dolors Bassa getting 12 year sentences. They were all found guilty of sedition and misuse of funds for their role in the 2017 Catalan referendum.
The former Speaker of the Catalan Parliament, Carme Forcadell, was sentenced to 11 and a half years while Former ministers Joaquim Forn and Josep Rull were convicted of the same time, getting 10 and a half years each, while civic activists Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart have been sentenced to 9 years each, also for sedition.
They are all also barred from office for the same length of time. Mr MacNeil has met on many occasions with Catalan politicians during his time in Parliament.
Angus Brendan MacNeil MP said: “This is a shocking and unjust decision by the Spanish courts. The fact that political leaders in Europe are being jailed for their beliefs is sickening, but worse again is the silence from leaders across Europe on the Catalan situation.
"The UK Government should be doing everything in their power to defend these Catalan politicians and frankly address Spain for their abhorrent behaviour.
"The Spanish government have allowed police violence, censorship of the Catalans and now jailed Catalan leaders for holding a democratic referendum in 2017. This is not a precedent which should be allowed.
"The 9 political leaders were simply expressing their democratic rights, with the court’s decision the nine politicians jail time adds up to some 99.5 years in prison.
"My thoughts are with the prisoners, their families and supporters at what must be an incredibly distressing time.”