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News > Spain

Catalonia's Pro-Independence Leader Cheered at Vic University

  • Oriol Junqueras (L) and the Vic University Vice Chancellor Silvia Mas in Barcelona, Spain, March 03, 2020.

    Oriol Junqueras (L) and the Vic University Vice Chancellor Silvia Mas in Barcelona, Spain, March 03, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 3 March 2020

The Republic Left leader Oriol Junqueras has permission to leave prison three times a week to teach.

Catalonia's former Vice-President Oriol Junqueras, who was sentenced to 13 years in prison for his support of the 2017 pro-independence referendum, left prison for the first time to work at the University of Vic, in Barcelona, as part of a program that will allow him to teach classes three days a week.


We Won't Stop and They Won't Stop Us' Catalonia's Leader Says

In October 2019, the Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan politicians to prison for their participation in an attempt to declare the independence of their country from Spain.

Catalonia's former vice-president received the highest sentence, for he was convicted of sedition. The then-president Carles Puigdemont, however, managed to escape political persecution and took refuge in Belgium.​​​​

Junqueras is the president of the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), who is currently supporting the leftist coalition government headed by the socialist Pedro Sanchez in Madrid.

"Oriol Junqueras authorized to leave prison and teach at the Central University of Catalonia on the Manresa campus. The students welcome him."

"University students, professors, and officials formed a corridor to applaud, cheer and welcome the ERC leader upon his arrival at the campus... the students have skipped classes to receive the prisoner at the university's gates. Some have shouted for the freedom of imprisoned pro-independence leaders," local outlet ABC reported.

On Tuesday, the spokeswoman of the far-right People's Party Cayetana Alvarez de Toledo called the temporary release of Junqueras a "degrading spectacle" for Spanish democracy, complaining about the "intellectual corruption" of the Catalan university that will allow him to teach.​​​​​​​

According to this lawmaker, some Catalan universities joined past demonstrations in favor of pro-independence prisoners and against the judgments of the Constitutional Court​​​​​​​.

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