Categories
News

EUROPE MUST INTERVENE ON CATALONIA

A pleasure to hear from Catalan Foreign Affairs Minister, Alfred Bosch, addressing members of the APPG on Catalonia about the situation there.

Human rights are universal, but they are being crushed by the Spanish Government. People are being indiscriminately beaten in the street for demanding their human rights through a democratic vote as their leaders are locked up. European leaders must intervene.

Categories
News

FIRST MINISTER’S ADDRESS

Scotland is facing two futures: one as part of the UK, led by a Prime Minister that has broken the law, is determined to destroy our economy and services through a no deal Brexit and austerity, and who wants to tear our communities apart. Or we can have a future as an independent standing as equals amongst others around the globe and take control of our futures to secure the country that we want to live in.

Thankfully, before the end of this year, the First Minister will will demand the transfer of power that puts the legality of a referendum beyond any doubt. As support for independence has recent;y climbed to 50%, Westminster’s continued refusal to respect the sovereignty of the Scottish people to decide its own future is unsustainable and undemocratic.

Opposing the oppression of Catalan democracy; condemning the bloodshed of Turkey against the Kurdish people; a Scottish Child Payment with no Rape Clause or two child cap; and a pledge to scrap non-residential social care charges for all if a SNP Government is re-elected in 2021.

Human rights, peace and supporting our citizens – these are the values at the core of the SNP and the values that will be at the core of an independent Scotland.

Categories
News

MPs CALL FOR RELEASE OF CATALAN POLITICAL PRISONERS

I co-signed a letter with my colleagues on the APPG for Catalonia following yesterday’s prison sentences of Catalan political leaders.

Categories
News

CATALAN LEADERS JAILED

The imprisonment of Catalan leaders is an assault on democracy itself. Every nation has the fundamental human right to self-determination and the Spanish Government must respect this.

A Government which resorts to brute force by attacking people for voting and imprisons leaders, is a weak Government. The people of Catalonia have time and time again through elections and protest shown that they want to decide their own future. The Spanish Government must engage in dialogue with the Catalan Government to agree the release of prisoners and form a political solution.

More information here.

Categories
News

CATALAN MEPs LOCKED OUT

3 Catalan MEPs are being prevented from representing their constituents in the European Parliament. One is imprisoned and two locked out for standing up for democracy.

For the sake of democracy, Catalan MEPs must be allowed to sit, and Catalonia must vote.

Categories
News

BREXIT FORCING UK’s SILENCE ON CATALAN HUMAN RIGHTS

SNP MP CALLS FOR RECOGNISED CATALAN REFERENDUM AND CONDEMNS “COWARDLY” UK SILENCE AS MINISTER’S DENY EXISTENCE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

Today in Parliament, SNP MP, Marion Fellows, condemned the UK government’s silence over human rights abuses in Catalonia which she says is being used to gain Spain’s support in Brexit negotiations.

Speaking at Foreign Office questions today, Marion Fellows said: “Is it the case that the UK government isn’t seeking to uphold self-determination for Catalonia because it needs Spain’s support in Brexit negotiations?”

Responding, Foreign Office Minister, Alan Duncan, said “We uphold [the Rule of Law] here with Scotland with Spain on Catalonia. Certain accusations that somehow they have political prisoners are absurd.”

Members of the Catalan government, the Speaker of the Catalan Parliament and two prominent grassroots activists were arrested following the Catalan independence referendum in 2017 and have been detained since and are currently being tried for sedition and rebellion facing up to 25 years in prison.

There has since been a crackdown which has led to widespread protests across Catalonia and pressure from Catalan politicians in exile abroad.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“The UK government is so desperate, it is allowing democracy in Catalonia to be trampled and even denying the existence of political prisoners to gain Spain’s support in Brexit negotiations. Far from being the major global player Brexiteers imagined, the UK is becoming an irrelevance on the world stage.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to uphold human rights. Denying the existence of political prisoners is detached from reality.

“In Catalonia, as in Scotland, the people are sovereign and the people alone possess the right to determine their futures. Catalonia voted for a Parliament that voted to hold a referendum. Madrid and the rest of Europe cannot continue to ignore democracy and should intervene to uphold democracy.

“There are numerous examples of the UK government defending human rights elsewhere around the world. The answer that it is an internal matter for Spain is simply not good enough and shows just how cowardly they are.”

Categories
News

CATALAN TRIAL OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

Today, I joined SNP MPs to call for the release of the Catalan political prisoners as their trial begins.

Members of the Catalan Government and grassroots political activists are facing medieval charges – rebellion and sedition – and decades in prison in a court case that has been prolonged.

The international community must watch the trial closely and ensure that human rights are not trampled further.

Catalonia – as does every nation – deserves to decide its future through a recognised referendum which they have been attempting to secure for years. The actions of Madrid during the unrecognised Catalan referendum were authoritarian and were not befitting of 21st century Europe.

Self-determination is not an offence – it is a human right.

Categories
News

“CATALONIA MUST VOTE!” SAYS SNP MP

MP CONDEMNS UK INACTION AND CALLS FOR RECOGNISED CATALAN INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM AND SAFE RETURN OF EXILES

SNP MP, Marion Fellows, has this week condemned the UK Government for its lack of action over human rights abuses in Catalonia and calls for progress on a recognised Catalan independence referendum and for exiles to be allowed to return home.

The MP is responding to an answer to a written question she tabled earlier this month asking if the new Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, “will make representations to his Spanish counterpart on an independence referendum for Catalonia”.

Minister Alan Duncan answered with just “The issue of Catalan independence is a matter for Spain”.

Mrs Fellows’ response comes after last week’s withdrawal of exiled ex-Catalan Minister, Clara Ponsatí’s European Arrest Warrant.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

The UK Government is demonstrating a blatant disregard for human rights which shames us on the international stage. They must make representations to Madrid to promote democracy and afford Catalonia their right to self-determination. Catalonia must vote!

The new Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, has committed to dialogue with the Catalan Government. But it is fundamentally undemocratic to hide behind the Spanish constitution which would see Catalonia a permanent part of Spain. That contradicts the very right to self-determination. There must be a democratic solution.

It is utter hypocrisy for the UK Government to claim that human rights is simply a matter for Spain when the Tories have supported numerous armed interventions around the world, including the illegal Iraq War. The Tories are choosing to intervene when it suits them. This is chance for them to do something positive internationally.

Human rights and democracy concerns everyone. It is not something that people can turn a blind eye to. Especially if abuses are committed by allies. This is the perfect opportunity to apply political pressure.

The new Foreign Secretary has an opportunity to show his mettle. He cannot be allowed to shy away from his responsibilities.