The leader of the Quebecoa bloc called on Italy to abandon the extradition of Catalan independent Carles Puigdemont, who was arrested Thursday in Sardinia before being released the next day and allowed to leave the country.
“Violent suppression of legitimate voting; arrest and imprisonment of independence leaders; relentless pursuit of leaders in exile; constant intimidation: Spain does not deserve to sit among the modern democracies that Europe is establishing,” Yves-François Blanchett denounced in a press release noon Friday.
After insisting at a cultural festival in Alghero, Sardinia, the former Catalan president spent the night in prison before obtaining permission to leave Italy pending a decision by the Sassari appeals court over a possible extradition to Spain.
Defending the Catalan people’s right to self-determination, the bloc leader also indicated that he was concerned that the ongoing legal proceedings could put an end to Carles Puigdemont’s visit to Quebec.
“I maintain the call made to President Puigdemont. I deplore that Canada is complicit in a Spanish regime that has again become repressive, as we have unfortunately known in the twentieth century. I once again offer the President in exile all my support in the legal, political and personal battles he must lead in the name and uphold of his values and principles. Courage which I admire so deeply,” identified Mr. Blanchett.
Spain has pursued Puigdemont since the attempted secession from Catalonia in October 2017.
The two men have already met on several occasions, with the European Parliament even extending its congratulations to Mr. Blanchett the day after the first results of the federal elections.
“Congratulations, my dear friend Yves Francois Blanchett, on the impressive result of the Québecois bloc in the Canadian general election. Catalonia and Quebec are more connected than ever on the road to freedom,” he wrote in French on Twitter on Tuesday.
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