When a series of falsehoods are stated in this manner, it is our right and duty to respond, says ambassador Carlos Bastarreche

In his article (Spain’s abuses in Catalonia violate EU law, 22 September) the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, includes a number of accusations that are simply untrue. He affirms that the Spanish government is violating European values and civil rights by sending the police to “imprison democratically elected politicians”, among other activities. He mentions specifically the searches and arrests of the “paramilitary police” which took place on 20 September, and considers that they have driven Catalonia “to a de facto state of emergency” violating “the European charter of fundamental rights”.

The government did not send the police to those regional government buildings, offices and private homes. It was a judge in Barcelona who ordered the police operation, a judge who acts in accordance with the principle of separation of powers, as happens in every other modern democracy. Moreover, the judge has the backing of the constitutional court. The civil guard – which in no means is a paramilitary force – fulfilled its role of judicial police. As for the pretended state of emergency, the freely exercised freedom of demonstration shown in the streets of Barcelona clearly denies Puigdemont’s false accusation. No single civil right has been suspended.

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