Letter to the Editor,

We are academics working in the in the fields of law, human rights, politics, sociology, history and related subjects in 19 different countries.

Over the past two weeks we have seen a further escalation in the use of criminal charges and arrests continue to be used by Spain against its political opponents.

There can be no doubt that we are living the darkest days of Spanish democracy since 1978.

READ MORE: Furious staff condemn Madrid closure of Catalonia’s public diplomacy council

In addition to the four political prisoners and the high-profile detention of Carles Puigdemont, five more democratically elected politicians have been thrown in jail (Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Raül Romeva, Dolors Bassa and Carme Forcadell). Seven others are in exile under threat of imprisonment. In addition to Clara Ponsati, a case that is familiar to your readers, those include Marta Rovira, Anna Gabriel, Toni Comin, Meritxell Serret and Lluis Puig.

Those in exile are being hounded by European Arrest Warrants issued under the auspices of the European Union. We write to demand their immediate release, and to demand immediate action from the European Union to stop this repression, which represents an indelible and permanent stain on European democracy.

Yours faithfully 

Professor David Whyte, University of Liverpool, UK
Dr. Mònica Clua-Losada, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, US 
Professor Noam Chomsky, MIT, US 
Professor Saskia Sassen, Columbia University US 
Professor James K Galbraith, University of Texas – Austin, US 
Professor Fiona MacKay, University of Edinburgh Scotland 
Professor Leo Panitch, York University, Toronto, Canada
Professor Neil Davidson, University of Glasgow, UK
Professor Greg Albo, York University, Toronto, Canada
Professor Patrick Bond, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Professor Akwugo Emejulu, University of Warwick, UK
Professor Imogen Tyler, University of Lancaster, UK
Professor Keith Ewing, King's College London, UK
Professor Nira Yuval-Davis, University of East London, UK
Professor Gilbert Achar, School of Oriental and African Studies, UK
Professor Armin Bernhard, Universitat de Duisburg-Essen, Germany
Professor Huw Beynon, Cardiff University, Wales 
Professor Tithi Bhattacharya, Purdue University, US 
Professor Andreas Bieler, University of Nottingham, UK
Professor Bill Bowring, Birkbeck, University of London, UK
Professor Rudolph Brauer, University of Bremen, Germany
Professor Mario Diani, University of Trento, Italy
Professor Simon Duncan, University of Bradford, UK
Professor Pablo Ghigliani, CONICET, Argentina
Professor Penny Green, Queen Mary University, London, UK
Professor David Howell, University of York, UK
Professor Ronnie Lippens, Keele University, UK
Professor Bart Maddens, Catholic University of Leuven, Flanders, Belgium
Professor Miguel Martínez Lucio, The University of Manchester, UK
Professor David McNally, York University, Toronto, Canada
Professor David Miller, University of Bath, UK
Professor Adam Morton, University of Sidney, Australia
Professor James L Newell, University of Salford, UK
Professor John Parkinson, University of Cranberra, Australia
Professor Scott Poynting, University of New South Wales, Australia
Professor Helen Richardson, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Professor JP Roos, University of Helsinki, Finland
Professor Sebastian Scheerer, University of Hamburg, Germany
Professor Phil Scraton, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland 
Professor Joe Sim, Liverpool John Moores University, UK
Professor Richard Sorg, Hamburg, Germany
Professor Paul Stewart, University of Strathclyde, Scotland 
Professor Steve Tombs, The Open University, UK
Professor Tony Ward, Northumbria University, UK
Professor Andrew Watterson, University of Stirling, Scotland 
Professor Peter Willetts, City University of London, UK
Dr Milica Antić Gaber, University of Ljubjana, Slovenia
Dr Alejandra Araiza Diaz, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo, Mexico
Pura Ariza, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
Dr Dario Azzellini, Cornell University, US 
Dr David Bailey, University of Birmingham, UK
Dr Oscar Berglund, University of Bristol, UK
Marc Bosch i Matas, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dr Jonathan Burnett, Swansea University Wales 
Grant Buttars, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
Dr Queralt, Capsada-Munsech, University of Glasgow, Scotland
Dr Sevasti, Chatzopoulou, Roskilde University, Denmark
Dr Yulia Chistyakova, Liverpool John Moores University, UK
Dr Vickie Cooper, Open University, UK
Dr Adriano Cozzolino, University of Napoli L'Orientale, Italy
Dr Gareth Dale, Brunel University, UK
Dr Jill Daniels, University of East London, UK
Dr Judith Delheim, Zukunftskonvent, Germany
Dr Julia Downes, Open University, UK
Dr Phil Edwards, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
Dr Wolfram Elsner, University of Bremen, Germany
Dr Karen Evans, University of Liverpool, UK
Dr Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Loughborough University, UK
Dr Robert González Garcia, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo, Mexico
Dr Sofia Gradin, King's College London, UK
Dr Alexia Grosjean, University of St Andrews, UK
Dr Bue Rübner Hansen, Aarhus University, Denmark
Mike Harrison, University of South Wales, Wales
Dr Emily Luise Hart, University of Liverpool, UK
Sabine Hattinger-Allende, University Duisburg-Essen, Germany
Dr Fiona Henderson Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland 
Dr Marion Hersh, University of Glasgow, Scotland 
Dr Michael Holmes, Liverpool Hope University, UK
Dr Laura Horn, Roskilde University, Denmark
Dr Feyzi Ismail, School of Oriental and African Studies, UK
Dr Sabine Israel, Leibniz-Institut für Sozialwissenschaften, Germany
Dr William Jackson, Liverpool John Moores University, UK
Dr Johannes Jäger, University of Applied Sciences BFI Vienna, Austria
Dr Paul Jones, University of Liverpool, UK
Dr Mark Kaswan, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, US 
Dr Stephanie Khoury University of Liverpool, UK
Dr Nicholas Kiersey, Ohio University, US 
Dr Tor Krever, University of Warwick, UK
Dr Theocharis (Harris) Kromydas, University of Glasgow, Scotland
Dr Michael Mair, University of Liverpool, UK
Dr Paul McFadden, University of York, UK
Jo McNeill, University of Liverpool, and UCU UofL President, UK
Madelaine Moore, University of Kassel, Germany
Dr Carlo Morelli, University of Dundee, Scotland
Dr Jeffrey Murer, University of St Andrews, UK
Dr Féilim O hAdhmaill, University College Cork, Ireland
Christina Paine, UCU London Metropolitan University, UK
Dr Kirsteen Paton, University of Liverpool, UK
Dr Louise Purbrick, University of Brighton, UK
Dr Xavier Rubio-Campillo, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
Dr Pollyanna Ruiz, University of Sussex, UK
Dr Thomas Sablowski, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Germany
Jordi-Sanchez Carrion, University of Liverpool, UK
Dr Jeffrey Stevenson Murer, University of St Andrews, Scotland
Dr Maka Suarez, Universidad de Cuenca & FLACSO-Ecuador, Ecuador
Dr Simon Toubeau, University of Nottingham, UK
Katie Tucker, Liverpool John Moores University, UK
Kristine Vanden Berghe, Université de Liège, Belgium
Jill Vickers, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Dr David Webber, Southampton Solent University, UK
Dr Niall Whelehan, University of Strathclyde, UK
Dr Angela Wigger, Radboud University, Netherlands
Dr Owen Worth, University of Limerick, Ireland
Doug Yearwood, Queen's University, Canada
Dr Yuliya Yurchenko, University of Greenwich, UK