Katalunia: the non-derogable right of the self-determination of all peoples

Autodeterminazio-eskubidearen urraketa Katalunian

Alfred de Zayas‏ @Alfreddezayas (https://twitter.com/Alfreddezayas/status/911636446523613184)

Media statement: Violation of the right of self-determination of the Catalan People https://dezayasalfred.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/media-statement-violation-of-the-right-of-self-determination-of-the-catalan-people/ …

2017 ira. 23

Alfred de Zayas’ Human Rights Corner

This is a human rights blog in which I address issues of general concern freely and spontaneously. It is not an official blog nor is it issued in my function as United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order. It is a private blog intended to further an informal exchange of views in the democratic spirit of freedom of opinion and respect for the opinions of others.

Media statement: Violation of the right of self-determination of the Catalan People

23 Saturday Sep 2017

Posted by alfreddezayas in UN, United Nations (UN)

The non-derogable right of the self-determination of all peoples

A matter of urgency:  What follows is a media statement I wrote on 20 September calling for calm and respect for all human rights in Catalonia, for dialogue and an end to repressive and undemocratic measures.  The Office has thus far refused to issue my statement. Is this censorship?  Any person committed to human rights has a duty to speak out, but many in Brussels and elsewhere seem to prefer silence

Violation of the right of self-determination of the Catalan People

GENEVA (20 September 2017) –  Since 2015 The UN Independent Expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, Alfred de Zayas, has received communications from representatives of civil society in Cataluña drawing attention to a cluster of violations of human rights and the rule of law by the Spanish government.  These communications were duly transmitted to the Spanish government without the desired effect.

On international day of Peace, the Independent Expert recalls that the right of self-determination is ius cogens and that no State can violate peremptory norms of international law with impunity.  The Spanish Constitution itself stipulates in its articles 10 and 96 the supremacy of international law and in particular international human rights law over of domestic lawThe Venice Commission has criticised the expansion of powers of the Spanish Constitutional Court to go beyond interpretation of the constitution with new executive competencies and the power to impose sanctions.

The Independent Expert calls on the government of Spain to respect the right of the people of Catalonia to exercise the democratic right of freedom of expression in the form of organizing and conducting a referendum, in the same way as the peoples of many territories including Quebec, Scotland, Montenegro have been able to vote on their status.  

Indeed, self-determination is not limited to the decolonisation context and it is high time that governments accept that the realization of internal or external self-determination is an effective conflict preventive strategy and indispensable to a democratic and equitable international order.  The expert fully endorses the report by a commission of International Experts, “Catalonia’s Legitimate Right to Decide”, presented at a side-event of the Human Rights Council on 13 September 2017 by one of the co-authors, Professor Nicolas Levrat, head of the International Law Department of the University of Geneva.

On international day of Peace the Independent Expert calls on the European Commission to defend the right of the Catalan people to express their identity in the form of a referendum, compatible with European law and international law.  The European Commission should condemn the use of direct and indirect force on a population who is intent on expressing its right to choose. 

The independent expert calls on Spain to suspend all measures of repression against the people of Catalonia and to cease interfering with the exercise of fundamental democratic rights, including the rights of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, and the non-derogable right of the self-determination of all peoples.

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