ANC leader’s ‘fed up’ cellmate asks to move: “He keeps banging on about independence”
Catalunya National Assembly (ANC) leader Jordi Sànchez’s prison cellmate has asked to move as he is ‘fed up’ with the campaigner ‘banging on about independence’.
Sànchez, who, along with Òmnium Cultural leader Jordi Cuixart, was arrested for inflaming a protest and ‘blocking the Guardia Civil’ during a raid on Catalunya’s regional Parliament, is being held at Madrid’s Soto del Real jail – the same one where former PP treasurer Luis Bárcenas spent 19 months during investigations into his multi-million slush fund.
The ANC leader was assigned a ‘buddy’ once remanded in custody – a prisoner with a record for good behaviour who is placed in a cell with new arrivals to keep them on an even keel.
But Sànchez’s companion said he ‘couldn’t take it any more’ and has asked to be moved – a request which has been accepted.
He said the separatist’s ‘constant banging on about independence’ made him feel as though he was ‘serving a double sentence’, and he considers that being in prison is quite enough punishment for his offences.
Sànchez has already asked to be moved from his current prison block after an inmate shouted to him, “¡Viva España!”
But this request was denied, because Sànchez’s safety was not thought to be under threat.
He and Cuixart are said to be continuing with their campaign from prison – Sànchez has been sending messages to the public in Catalunya via social media and through his lawyer.
Both men are held in ‘peaceful’ prisons, with first-time offenders who have committed ‘minor’ crimes, some on second-degree schemes which allow them to spend weekends or part of the week at home, and many of them middle-aged or elderly.
Neither of the Jordis has been placed on suicide watch, as they are not considered a risk.
Sànchez’s wife Susana Barreda told the BBC’s Tom Burridge during a televised report that she considers her husband ‘a political prisoner’ who has been remanded in custody for ‘expressing his opinion’.
He and Cuixart are charged with sedition.