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Catalonia separatists push amnesty bill through Spain's Congress

Kusai Kedri
Press TV, Barcelona

On Tuesday, Catalonia's pro-independence lawmakers have filed an amnesty bill for the region's jailed leaders in the Spanish Congress in an attempt to end the political crisis. Spain's ruling socialists have rejected the proposal out of hand.

An amnesty bill for Catalonia's jailed leaders was put before Spain's Congress of deputies on Tuesday to end the political crisis in the northeastern region. The bill was filed by lawmakers from the four Catalan pro-independence parties with the support of Omnium Cultural, a grassroots organization whose leader was found guilty of sedition in the 2017 referendum trial and sentenced to 9 years in jail.

Spain's ruling socialist party had dismissed the amnesty bill even before it reached Congress.

The socialists say they favor other solutions to amnesty, namely a presidential pardon or a reform of the sedition law that sentenced the jailed Catalan leaders to up to 13 years behind bars. For the separatists, neither of these proposals addresses the hundreds of independence-related legal cases they claim are pending trial in Spain's courts.

Now that the amnesty bill seems to be doomed to fail from the outset, the release of the jailed Catalan leaders can only be secured by either being granted clemency, or a reform in Spain's criminal code; a slow and winding path that even the most optimistic in Catalonia says will lead nowhere.

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