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UN rights expert urges Spain not to charge Catalan leaders

[JURIST] David Kaye [official profile], the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression urged [press release] Spain on Friday not to press rebellion charges against Catalonian leaders.

Kaye said:

I am concerned that charges of rebellion for acts that do not involve violence or incitement to violence may interfere with rights of public protest and dissent. ... International human rights law cautions that, especially in situations involving political dissent, restrictions should only be imposed when they are strictly necessary and proportionate to protect the State's interests.
Kaye recommends "dialogue and and reconciliation" as opposed to prosecution.

The rebellion charges the leaders are facing have a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment.

In March the Spanish Supreme Court charged [JURIST report] thirteen Catalan leaders for rebellion. Earlier that month the Spanish Supreme Court denied the release of a Catalan leader. In February the court ordered [JURIST report] the arrest of a former Catalan member of Parliament.

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