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Worsening Situation in Catalonia

That the Parliament observes with dismay what it considers to be the worsening situation in Catalonia; believes that, as well as jailing democratically-elected, peaceful political opponents, including eight Catalan Government ministers who were allegedly handcuffed and strip-searched by the Spanish police, there have been reports that eight teachers in the town of La Seu d’Urgell are being prosecuted for discussing the events of the referendum on 1 October 2017 with their classes, and that two people were arrested, handcuffed and spent the night in jail for criticising on Facebook the alleged police violence during the referendum; acknowledges reports of violence by far-right pro-Spain groups against ordinary people, including at an event on 6 November in the town of Mataró, at which a person was hospitalised by neo-nazis for refusing to say "Viva España"; understands that, despite this, there has not been a single arrest; notes reports that Spain appears to be making moves to make the pro-independence political party, CUP, illegal, amid concerns that this could be the first step to do the same to the other pro-independence parties in Catalonia in advance of the 21 December elections; understands that the Spanish authorities have taken steps to restrict funding to universities, NGOs and other organisations in Catalonia, completely unrelated to the October referendum; believes that the Spanish Government is now violating human rights and EU-core values to an alarming degree, and calls on all democrats, regardless of their view on independence for Catalonia, to call on both the Spanish Government to desist and for the EU to intervene.

Supported by: Kenneth Gibson, Stuart McMillan, Christina McKelvie, James Dornan, Willie Coffey, Fulton MacGregor, Mairi Gougeon, Ruth Maguire, Ash Denham, Richard Lyle, Sandra White, Emma Harper, Bill Kidd, Angus MacDonald, Clare Haughey, John Finnie, Joan McAlpine, John Mason, Rona Mackay, Alex Neil, David Torrance, Jenny Gilruth, Clare Adamson, Gillian Martin, Ben Macpherson


That the Parliament calls on the international community to recognise the vote of the Catalan Parliament for an Independent Republic of Catalonia; believes that the EU, Council of Europe and all other European institutions, as well as the wider international community, have a critical role in ensuring a peaceful, diplomatic and transparent transition of power from Spain to Catalonia, and calls for peace and dialogue between the Spanish and Catalan governments, upholding human rights, democracy and what it believes is the fundamental right to self-determination.

Supported by: Alex Neil, Gordon MacDonald, John Mason, James Dornan, Ivan McKee, Graeme Dey, Clare Haughey, Stuart McMillan, Richard Lyle, Christine Grahame, Angus MacDonald, Gillian Martin, Maree Todd, David Torrance, Sandra White, John Finnie, Jenny Gilruth, Fulton MacGregor, Ruth Maguire, Mairi Gougeon, Rona Mackay, Ben Macpherson, Gil Paterson R, Willie Coffey

Catalonia, Need for Dialogue, Negotiation And Accord

That the Parliament notes the Spanish Government’s announcement of holding a Cabinet meeting on 21 October 2017 to discuss the suspension of Catalonian autonomy following a letter from the President of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, to the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy; understands that the Catalan President has stated that his government has delayed any potential declaration of independence to allow for discussions between the Spanish and Catalan governments; notes there have been calls for dialogue from international, Spanish and Catalan figures and institutions; calls on the Spanish Government to work towards resolution of this situation in the spirit of democracy, by dialogue, negotiation and accord, and believes that the offer of a meeting by Carles Puigdemont should be accepted by the Prime Minister so that political options can be explored by the Spanish and Catalan governments to reflect the right of the people of Catalonia to decide their own constitutional future.

Supported by: Sandra White, Clare Haughey, Emma Harper, David Torrance, Stuart McMillan, Rona Mackay, Richard Lyle, Kenneth Gibson, Bill Kidd, Angus MacDonald, Fulton MacGregor, Clare Adamson, John Mason, Bruce Crawford, Maree Todd, Ivan McKee, Christine Grahame, Gillian Martin, Willie Coffey

Calling for Dialogue between Spanish and Catalonian Governments

That the Parliament condemns in the strongest possible terms the actions of the Spanish state in jailing the President of Omnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, and the President of the Assemblea Nacional Catalana, Jordi Sánchez, on charges of sedition; understands that sedition was first proclaimed a crime in Spain under General Franco’s rule but that, even during that era, it was never used against a President of Omnium Cultural, an organisation that exists to promote the use of the Catalan language; considers these actions to be an attempt to criminalise the Catalan movement for self-determination, which it believes is unacceptable, regardless of views on Catalan independence; further considers that they constitute an unacceptable violation of freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of association, and calls on the Spanish Government to cease what it considers this repression against the people and the Government of Catalonia and to engage with the Catalan Government’s proposals for a period of dialogue that would put a stop to rising tension in Catalonia.

Supported by: Rona Mackay, Clare Haughey, James Dornan, Bill Kidd, Maree Todd, Sandra White, David Torrance, Joan McAlpine, Gail Ross, Colin Beattie, Stuart McMillan, Richard Lyle, Jenny Gilruth, Fulton MacGregor, John Mason, Bob Doris, Bruce Crawford, Kenneth Gibson, Gillian Martin, Willie Coffey


That the Parliament expresses its deep disappointment and concern at what it considers the failure of the EU to defend the fundamental civil rights of the people of Catalonia in respect of the violent attacks on pro-independence voters and residents by the Spanish authorities; condemns the reported comments of the European Commission's First Vice-president, Frans Timmermans, when he supported the actions of the Spanish police against Catalan citizens trying to exercise their democratic right to vote in the referendum, which it considers represented unwarranted brutality; expresses deep regret at what it sees as the EU’s lack of respect for the rights of national minorities, as expressed in Article 2 of the EU's founding treaty and Article 21 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights; believes that, while the commission has no specific powers, it and its member states have a general responsibility to ensure that the fundamental rights of groups such as the Catalans are protected in accordance with European and international law; calls on all EU member states to singularly and collectively use every available diplomatic and political tool to persuade the Spanish Government to adhere to the fundamental principles governing the EU and to pursue a negotiated settlement between itself and the Government of Catalonia, and believes that such a settlement must respects civil rights and the right to self-determination, as laid out in the charter of the UN.

Supported by: Richard Lyle, Kenneth Gibson, Ivan McKee, Ash Denham, Angus MacDonald, Bob Doris, Sandra White, John Mason, Christine Grahame, Gordon MacDonald, David Torrance, Rona Mackay, Bill Kidd, Jenny Gilruth, Ben Macpherson, Stuart McMillan, Fulton MacGregor, John Finnie, Gillian Martin, Clare Haughey, Bruce Crawford, Maree Todd, Willie Coffey

Amnesty International Denounces Excessive Use of Force by the National Police and Civil Guard in Catalonia

That the Parliament notes reports from Amnesty International that it has confirmed that members of the Spanish national police force’s intervention unit and civil guard officers used excessive and disproportionate force against demonstrators who were passively resisting in the streets and at the entrances to polling stations in Catalonia during the October 2017 referendum; welcomes Amnesty’s call for the Spanish authorities to urgently launch a thorough, immediate and impartial investigation into what it considers an excessive and disproportionate use of force by the police and civil guard; condemns the use of such violence, which it believes should never be tolerated in a democratic society, and calls on the European Commission to mediate between the Catalan and the Spanish governments to ensure that democracy, rather than violence, prevails.

Supported by: John Mason, Patrick Harvie, Graeme Dey, Ivan McKee, Emma Harper, Stewart Stevenson, Sandra White, David Torrance, Bill Kidd, Alison Johnstone, Clare Haughey, Andy Wightman, Stuart McMillan, Kenneth Gibson, Maree Todd, Alex Rowley, Mark Ruskell, Neil Findlay, Fulton MacGregor, Ben Macpherson, Bruce Crawford

Statement from High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein

That the Parliament notes the comments by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein, regarding the situation in Catalonia; notes that he is "very disturbed" by the violence displayed in the region, particularly by the police forces there; believes that the behaviour displayed by the police was violent, abusive and disproportionally and unnecessarily aggressive; supports the High Commissioner's statement that "the current situation should be resolved through political dialogue, with full respect for democratic freedoms"; considers that the Spanish Government, in, it understands, condoning the reported violence on the Catalan people, has contravened the rights to peaceful assembly, the right of political expression and the fundamental right of self-determination; supports the general strike called in Catalonia as a response to the violence displayed, therefore upholding the fundamental right to withdraw one’s labour, and endorses the call for political dialogue between the Spanish and Catalan governments to ensure peace throughout the region, respecting the values of democracy and self-determination.

Supported by: John Mason, David Torrance, Sandra White, Stuart McMillan, Clare Adamson, Richard Lyle, Ben Macpherson, Richard Lochhead, Clare Haughey, Jenny Gilruth, Bill Kidd, James Dornan, Gail Ross, Gillian Martin, Fulton MacGregor, Bob Doris, Maree Todd, John Finnie, Ivan McKee

Current Status: Fallen on 29/11/2017

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the statement that it issued on 16 September, what its response is to the violence that took place during the independence referendum in Catalonia.

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 03/10/2017
Statement from the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner on the Catalan Referendum

That the Parliament recognises the statement from the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner calling for the Spanish authorities to respect the outcome of the upcoming Catalan referendum; supports the call for the Spanish Government to ensure the rights of the Catalan people to freedom of expression, assembly and association, and public participation; condemns reports that elected officials of the Catalan Government have been arrested, detained and prevented from engaging in their democratic rights of political expression and self-determination; praises the people of Catalonia for continuing in their peaceful expression of protest and assembly, and calls for the Spanish Government to recognise the outcome of the Catalan referendum, which it believes should be fair and free from interference.

Supported by: Ruth Maguire, James Dornan, Christine Grahame, Clare Haughey, Rona Mackay, Bill Kidd, Kenneth Gibson, Angus MacDonald, Sandra White, David Torrance, Fulton MacGregor, Jenny Gilruth, Ivan McKee, Gil Paterson, Ben Macpherson, Clare Adamson, Gillian Martin, Gail Ross, Maree Todd, Bruce Crawford

Current Status: Fallen on 29/11/2017

To ask the Scottish Government, prior to its announcement of support for what it called Catalonia’s right to self-determination and to call a referendum, what consideration it gave to the implications of this position for the 9,000 Spanish citizens who live, work and study in Scotland.

Answered by Fiona Hyslop (24/10/2017):

The Scottish Government has called for dialogue between the Spanish and Catalan governments to identify a way forward which complies with the rule of law but also respects democracy and allows the people of Catalonia to choose their own future.

The Scottish Government has repeatedly made clear that it values the contribution of Spanish citizens living, working and studying in Scotland. We believe the rights of EU citizens should always be protected. This is further demonstrated by our consistent calls for the rights of EU citizens and their families in Scotland to be protected during Brexit negotiations to ensure they can continue to make a strong contribution to our country.

Current Status: Answered by Fiona Hyslop on 24/10/2017