The arrest of Catalan President Carles Puigdemont: Another step toward a police state in Europe

 

The arrest of Catalan President Carles Puigdemont: Another step toward a police state in Europe

27 March 2018

The arrest of former Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont in Germany is a major step toward the development of a police state in Europe. The Europe-wide police-state structures, which emerged under the pretext of combatting terrorism and cracking down on refugees, are now being deployed against political opponents.

Puigdemont’s arrest was conducted based on a European arrest warrant. These warrants were introduced in 2004 to simplify the extradition process between EU member states following the elimination of internal border controls. They were allegedly aimed at combatting terrorism, gangs, people trafficking, the drugs trade, and other serious criminal offences.

Ever since, the police, intelligence services and judiciaries in the EU member states have intensified their cooperation. Puigdemont’s arrest was planned by Spanish intelligence, which had been following him across Europe with 10 to 12 agents. It was done in close consultation with Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, which received information from Spanish intelligence about Puigdemont’s car and route ahead of time and organized the arrest.

The charges against Puigdemont are as hypocritical as they are fraudulent. His “crime” consists of nothing more than advancing the demand—which has a long political history—for the separation of Catalonia from Spain. He has neither called for nor threatened violence to achieve this goal. The Catalan separatists have relied on peaceful and democratic means: elections, parliamentary motions, and demonstrations.

The German state accepts the claim of the right-wing regime in Madrid that the advocacy of separatism is a crime. But in the case of…

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