Socialist Worker

Fury as Catalan leader arrested in Scotland

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2597

Mass protests demanded Catalan independence

Mass protests demanded Catalan independence (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon has exposed her government’s fake radicalism by cooperating with the clampdown on Catalan independence.

An international arrest warrant for exiled former Catalan education minister Clara Ponsati, who recently arrived in Scotland, was reactivated by the Spanish state last weekend.

The arrest coincided with that of former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont. He was arrested in Germany on Sunday and is set to be returned to face very serious charges in Spain.

Thousands of people protested in Barcelona in response to Puigdemont’s arrest.

Sturgeon said her government “strongly opposed” the arrest and imprisonment of Catalan leaders.

But the SNP government won’t obstruct the rule of law. Sturgeon insisted, “Our justice system is legally obliged to follow due process” and that “Scottish ministers have no powers to intervene”.

Despite sympathy for Catalonia among Scotland’s independence movement and the SNP membership, the Scottish government won’t do anything concrete to defend Catalan democracy.

Perhaps the SNP leadership values securing favourable trading terms with the European Union more than international solidarity.

It is shameful that the SNP government has remained largely silent. It could and should have done more in response to state sponsored violence and increasing repression of Catalan society.


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Article information

International
Tue 27 Mar 2018, 16:13 BST
Issue No. 2597
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