PEN Català, along with the signatories listed below, denounces the excessive restrictions on the right to freedom of expression as a result of the disproportionate charges of rebellion and sedition filed against writers and civil society leaders Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez, who have been held in pre-trial detention for over a year for having peacefully expressed their political views.

Lately, the Catalans have been persecuted – in a way not seen since the Franco dictatorship – for different artistic expressions clearly attacking the right to freedom of expression and its different forms of artistic expression.

One of the principles of our Founding Charter, written in 1922, defends the free circulation of ideas within each country. According to this principle, members are to refuse any form of suppression of freedom of expression in the country or community to which they belong, and oppose arbitrary censorship in time of peace.

PEN Català has been fighting against threats and aggression to language and literature for 95 years, taking action in support of persecuted, exiled and refugee writers throughout the world.

In light of our commitment to defending the right to freedom of expression, we call on the Spanish authorities to drop the charges against Sànchez and Cuixart and to release them immediately. Beyond having expressed their ideas peacefully, they have also ensured, from the organisations over which they preside, the free circulation of ideas of writers in Catalonia.

You can download the Statement here in 4 languages.