UNIVERSITIES & RESEARCH CENTERS IN DEFENCE OF CIVIL RIGHTS & DEMOCRACY
Given the political scenario in Catalonia, the silence of the academic community is not an option. An Academic Manifesto in defence of the civil rights and democracy was presented by Universities and Research Centers, in accordance with those approved in Catalan Universities.
The academic community from all over the world is invited to sign the Academic Manifesto
Read the manifesto in: Basque, Catalan, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian, German, Italian, Occitan, Sardinian, SpanishMore information about the Catalan scenario
Academic Manifesto in Defence of Civil Rights in Catalonia
Quoting the Council of Europe’s Declaration on Higher Education and Democratic Culture: Citizenship, Human Rights and Civic Responsibility, Strasbourg June 2006,
"We affirm our commitment to democratic principles and practice. We accept our responsibility to safeguard democracy, and promote a democratic culture, by supporting and advancing within higher education as well as society at large, the principles of:
- Democratic and accountable structures, processes and practice
- Active democratic citizenship
- Human rights, mutual respect and social justice
- Environmental and societal sustainability
- Dialogue and the peaceful resolution of conflicts."
We, the academic community, consider that the constant violation of civil rights in Catalonia is threatening the foundations of democracy in this country. The signs of democratic involution - such as the violence exerted on October 1 against people waiting to vote - are becoming increasingly evident. Successive acts by Spain’s judiciary and government, such as the imprisonment and prosecution of social activists and members of the democratically elected Catalan Government and Parlament, have thrown into crisis the separation of powers, which is one of the pillars on which the rule of law is based.
Democracy is based on the recognition and defence of inalienable basic rights, including the right to dissent publicly. Judicialization of politics, violence and repression have been the response of the Spanish state to the demands of the Catalan people, instead of the dialogue necessary for any negotiation. We are thus witnessing a number of acts perpetrated by the Spanish institutional powers that do not befit the rule of law of a democratic State and are in breach of fundamental principles of international law.
Given the seriousness of this situation, silence on the part of the academic community is not an option. For these reasons, we declare that:
- Recovery of legal security is indispensable, and it is unacceptable that decisions of public authorities be arbitrary.
- It is essential that the fundamental rights of expression, assembly, demonstration and political participation be respected.
- Safeguarding rights and liberties is possible only by recovering democratic practices and solving political problems politically.