BARCELONA, Spain – The Latest on Catalan independence activists (all times local):
A lawyer representing former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and five other Catalan politicians who have been charged in Spain for violent rebellion has appealed to the U.N.'s Human Rights Committee to help defend their democratic rights.
Nico Krisch denounced a "grave interference in the democratic order" linked to the charges against Puigdemont, who lives in exile in Belgium, as well as Oriol Junqueras, Raul Romeva, Josep Rull, Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Turull. The five are being held in pre-trial detention in Spain.
The Catalan politicians have been charged and suspended from office by Spain's Supreme Court for their roles in organizing an independence referendum in Catalonia 14 months ago.
The effort announced Thursday seeks the Geneva-based committee's intervention to help ensure their democratic right to exercise their parliamentary mandate.
A spokeswoman for four jailed Catalan separatist leaders says they are abandoning their hunger strike more than two weeks after starting it because they consider that their protest has achieved its goals.
Speaking on behalf of the politicians, who are awaiting trial for their part in last year's attempt to secede from Spain, Pilar Calvo said Thursday the strike has drawn attention to the separatists' plight and prompted Spain's Constitutional Court to review some of their appeals, which enables them to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Pro-independence activist-turned-politician Jordi Sanchez and former Catalan cabinet member Jordi Turull began their hunger strike on Dec. 1. Ex-regional ministers Josep Rull and Joaquim Forn joined two days later.
The Constitutional Court had said the appeals were following the normal judicial calendar.