Adrià Carrasco Tarrés
Accused of terrorism for participating in protests where toll station barriers were lifted.
Adrià, in view of the general context, the seriousness of the accusations and the many chances of going prison if arrested chose to exile himself. Adrià stated: “Victory to repression is always to continue fighting.”
On April 10 2018, at 7 in the morning, a large police law-enforcement deployment – accompanied by the media -rang at the family home of Adrià Carrasco in Esplugues de Llobregat. Police officers proceeded to his arrest and to a search of the premises.
The action was ordered by the National Court and the Information Unit of the Civil Guard of Madrid and Barcelona is in charge of it. He is accused of crimes of sedition and / or rebellion and belonging to a terrorist group.
While his mother was opening the door, and upon seeing the magnitude of the operation, Adrià escaped. The Spanish State had been threatening for some time to prosecute under accusations of rebellion against the CDR movement (Committees of Defense of the Republic), of which he is a part. During the home search, the police forces took all mobile phones and computers away.
Early in the morning, the media mistakenly reported Adrià Carrasco’s arrest. This was along with Tamara Carrasco, a neighbour of the nearby city of Viladecans, who was detained due to falsely explaining that they were the leaders of the CDR movement. After a long investigation, both are accused of terrorism. Tamara Carrasco was released days later with some precautionary measures of confinement in her municipality.
The Interior Minister, Juan Ignacio Zoido, summoned the media to a press conference on 10-04-2018 surrounding the detentions ordered by the National Court against at least two leaders of the Committees of Defence of the Republic (CDR) in Barcelona. He justified these detentions due to what he described as: “the violent nature of their horizontal structure and without a hierarchy that, as he has underlined, are “similar to the Cuban Defence Committees”. The following days, the Civil Guard intensely looked for Adrià, interrogating, and (according to family sources) intimidating the family, and threatening friends and people in their environment (“if you do not tell me where he is, you will be next”).
On Adrià weighs a search warrant in Spain, but no European or international search warrant has been issued as yet.
Adrià Carrasco disappeared and the media stopped talking about him for some time. From the first moment, his support group “Adri, we want you home” organized protest actions.
In May, his mother publicized a letter through the Radio program: “El mati de Catalunya Ràdio”, where she denounced what she described as the manipulation of the facts and of evidence during the Police search at their home.
Later, it is known that the specific actions by which they are accused are their involvement in two non-violent civil protest actions, consisting of lifting toll barriers, organized by the CDR movement, on April 1 and 2 of 2018 (Holy Week) in Vallcarca and in Roca del Vallès. These were large protests, which lasted for over an hour during which there was no violent episode whatsoever.
Image from: Xavier Dengra
Adrià was 25 years old at the time of the events. He was working as a sound technician with FNAC. He lived at home with his parents, about to emancipate himself. He volunteered as a scout group leader with the Escoltes Sant Jordi within his town. He participated actively in different social campaigns, such as the Platform against the CAUFEC Plan (Urban Planning Project).
During the Referendum of October 1, 2017, he joined with the neighbours of Esplugues, in what would later become the village’s CDR (Referendum Defense Committees). This popular grassroots movement was born as per its own official description, to guarantee the implementation of the results of the referendum vote on self-determination and against the prohibition, repression and censorship of the Spanish State. Given the results of the Referendum, it was redefined as Republic Defence Committees, in order to carry out non-violent civil disobedience actions and implement the result of the vote.
In March 2018, the members of the Government of the Generalitat de Catalunya ( the Catalan Government), together with the main civil leaders; the presidents of OMNIUM and ANC, were imprisoned or exiled.
The Generalitat de Catalunya was the object of the application of Madrid’s direct rule, article 155 of the Spanish Constitution.
On March 25, President Puigdemont was detained and imprisoned in Germany.
During the following days (Easter 2018) the CDRs carried out protest actions consisting of road cuts and lifting of toll barriers.
Several political parties and the media begin to criminalize the CDR movement, accusing it of organizing “commandos” and equating them to the Basque “Kale Borroka” (street protests).
On April 2, 2018 the Public Prosecutor of the National Court disseminated a statement announcing that the actions of the CDR will be pursued as a “Rebellion crime.”
On April 5, German justice released President Puigdemont of any rebellion charges.
Five days later the Operation CADERA (CDR) was launched with the arrest of Tamara Carrasco and the attempt to arrest Adrià Carrasco. The two accused have no relationship with each other, despite sharing the same surname.
Adrià, in view of the general context, the seriousness of the accusations levelled, and the high chance of going to prison if arrested; chose to exile himself. This was made public through hiss support group “Adrietvolemacasa” on June 8, publicising a letter by Adrià, without disclosing his whereabouts.
A few days later there was a multitudinous demonstration in his town, Esplugues de Llobregat. On September 6, he publicly appeared for the first time at a press conference in Brussels, accompanied by Belgian lawyer Christoff Marchand and spokesman for his support group, Efrem Blázquez, publicly denouncing his situation.
His lawyer, Gonzalo Boye was presented to the National Court as his legal representative.
In November 2018, the Spanish National decided to stop investigating him, which implied the dismissal of the accusation of terrorism. This led to the transferring of the case to the ordinary courts of Catalonia, so that they could determine if the accusations of public disorder levelled against Adrià should still stand. The Spanish search warrant against Adrià Carrasco continues in force.
A non-violent action, in which toll barriers were lifted for one hour without interrupting the transit, cannot be considered a crime of terrorism as it is defined in the Spanish Criminal Code (article 573) or the Directive (EU) 2017/541, on combating terrorism (article 3). Nor does it fit into the rebellion crimes (art. 472 of the Spanish Criminal Code), nor of Sedition (art. 544).
In such actions convened by the CDR movement, hundreds of people participated on the same dates, yet only a few have been denounced. In no other case has the arrest of people been carried out, their home address been searched, telephones and computers tapped, nor has there been an accusation of terrorism or rebellion and / or sedition.
Moreover, there is no judicial resolution that establishes that the CDR movement is a “terrorist organization”.
The decision of the National Court to stop accusing Adrià Carrasco and Tamara Carrasco of these serious crimes (seven months after initiating the procedure), questions the seriousness of the basis of the former accusations.
This irregular judicial action has infringed the right (among others) to peaceful assembly and free association -included in article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and articles 21 and 22 of the Spanish Constitution – and the right to an equitable trial and to an ordinary judge determined by law; included in article 24.2 of the Spanish Constitution and article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Other rights that have been violated include the right to the inviolability of the address and the secret of communications – article 8 of the ECHR and article 18 of the Spanish Constitution -, as the operation affected Adrià’s parents, who were not accused of any wrongdoing.