Mickey Brady MP has called on members of the international community to support the right of the Catalan people to hold an independence referendum on 1st October amid mounting Spanish opposition to the vote.
The Newry & Armagh MP said:
“In recent days, we have seen a gross infringement on the right of the Catalan people to self-determination.
“In order to shut down the historic people’s referendum, the Spanish authorities have responded with raiding government offices, arresting officials, issuing massive fines, threats of legal action to hundreds of elected representatives, and the withdrawal of credit to the Government of Catalonia.
“More worrying, still, is the encroachment on the free press in Catalonia and the raiding of newspaper offices. This must be condemned outright by human rights advocates everywhere.
“For any resolution to be reached, the Spanish government must end this unjust interference and harassment immediately. Images of Guardia Civil seizing ballot boxes do not reflect well on any democratic state.
“This is coercion, plain and simple. It is also an attempt to subdue the passion for self-determination held by the people of Catalonia. The massive demonstrations organised in response to Spanish interference is evidence of this.
“I call on the international community and citizens in Europe to make their support for Catalan democracy known, and urge the Spanish government to respect the free press, freedom of assembly and the right of Catalan citizens to determine their future.”