Spain: Catalan President welcomes the future abolition of the offense of “sedition”

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Spain: Catalan president welcomes future abolition of “sedition” offence

Pere Aragonès is the president of the region of Catalonia , in Spain.

The Catalan regional president welcomed on Friday the Spanish government's proposal to replace with lighter sentences the offense of “sedition”, which separatist leaders were accused of after the 2017 secession attempt, but continues to push for amnesty for those convicted.

The abolition of the crime of sedition is an important step […] towards the end of the repression, but there is still a long way to go, declared Friday in Barcelona Pere Aragonès, moderate independence activist of the Republican Left party of Catalonia.

We will need more, because we remain determined to obtain amnesty, he added of those prosecuted since the attempted secession of this region of north- eastern Spain, five years ago.

Although it is completely opposed to the idea of ​​a total pardon, the government of socialist Pedro Sánchez has opted for dialogue with the regional executive Catalan, which he regularly needs to obtain a majority in the Spanish Parliament.

After having pardoned in 2021 nine leaders condemned for the secession attempt, Mr. Sánchez announced Thursday evening that his party and the radical left movement Podemos, his ally in the government coalition, were going to present a bill to reform the Penal Code and replacing the offense of sedition.

“The majority of European countries have adapted the various offenses of disturbing public order to modern societies, but not Spain.

— Patxi López, Socialist Group spokesperson in Congress

The initiative has been criticized by the People's Party, the main right-wing opposition movement, which believes that Mr. Sánchez is trying to buy time to stay in power at any cost, according to his spokesperson in Congress, Cuca Gamarra.

The leader of the People's Party, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, assured that he would cancel this reform if it returned to the business.

I will return to this decision if I lead the government, because neither Sánchez nor independence can thus facilitate attacks on the Constitution, he said.

A Ten Catalan separatist politicians have been sentenced to between 9 and 13 years in prison for sedition – an offense that has existed since 1822 – after Catalonia's attempted secession in 2017, which sparked the worst political crisis in Spain's recent history.

When the reform is passed, the offense of aggravated public disorder will carry sentences of between three and five years in prison, Patxi López said.

Former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont fled to Belgium to escape Spanish justice.

This edit of the Penal Code could particularly benefit former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who fled to Belgium to escape Spanish justice.

If he returns to Spain, Puigdemont will be judged, explained Patxi López, just as Sánchez had already hammered him the day before.

The main interested party was suspicious after this announcement. The offense is not removed: we change its name and we announce a reduction in the sentence, he wrote Thursday on Twitter.

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