The Human Rights Committee of the UN has received a compliant from former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont about the « violation » of his political rights in Spain. According to a statement, the United Nations committee accepted the proceeding on Monday, while Puigdemont appeared before the German authorities after being arrested on Sunday.
The body – made up of 18 independent experts in charge of ensuring compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – calls on the former Catalan president to indicate « what kind of measures » he wants to demand from Spain should it be concluded that his rights have been violated.
The lawsuit, entitled ‘Puigdemont versus Spain’, alleges that the State has violated its obligations under international treaties such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
According to Puigdemont these treaties safeguard his right to stand for election as well as his « right to freedom of association with other secessionist politicians and political parties in pursuit of a common goal of achieving the independence of Catalonia from Spain. »
He claims that « these rights have been violated by the cumulative and continued conduct of the Kingdom of Spain, » as the Spanish authorities have prevented him from taking up his appointed position as President of the Parliament of Catalonia.
Puigdemont says that he has been forced to choose between returning to Spain to be « subjected to arbitrary detention, remain as president in exile or allow an alternative candidate to be named and invested as president. »
The former Catalan leader, who has been living in self-imposed exile in Brussels since October, was travelling in a car on the way from Finland to Belgium on Sunday when he was detained, having visited Finnish lawmakers in Helsinki.
German police arrested him after he crossed the border from Denmark, under a European arrest warrant reactivated on Friday by Spain, where he is wanted on charges of sedition, rebellion and misuse of public funds for his role in organising a banned independence referendum.