TWO more Catalan political prisoners have joined the hunger strike that started on Saturday with Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Turull refusing to take food in protest at a Spanish court’s bid to stop them taking their cases to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Last night Joaquim Forn, Catalonia’s former interior minister and Josep Rull, who held the territory and sustainability portfolio, announced that they would refuse to take food from midnight.

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In identical tweets, they said: “It is a considered decision. When you do meet a conviction before judging you, you are just a few ways to rail against so great injustice. This is one.”
Sanchez, former president of the Catalan National Congress (ANC), and ex-Catalan minister for the presidency, Turull, first refused food on Saturday.

In a written interview with Catalan radio station RAC1, Sanchez – who has been in prison for 13 months – said he did not want to be “the Catalan Bobby Sands”, the IRA commander who died in 1981 following 66 days without food.

Nor did he expect the other pro-independence prisoners to join the protest.

“We are all together at one, those who we choose to strike freely, without coercion, so we will not coerce anyone to do it,” he said.

“I do not want to be considered heroes … It is not an act of irresponsibility or we are going to sacrifice ourselves. I do not want to be the Catalan Bobby Sands. I will strike until I consider that I have to do it, I have not put a minimum or a maximum of days, I have to see how I am finding it.”

He later tweeted: “3rd day of #vagadefam the face and thrilled with force. According to tell us the worst days are the first two. The body still resists a bit... so go for it. Light in the eye and the arm.”

Turull added: “My body in prison, my heart in Catalonia.”

A Portuguese MEP, meanwhile, described the hunger strike as “terrible for Spain”. Antonio Marinho Pinto added: “Putting political rivals in jail is improper of a democratic state. Spain is giving a very bad example to the world. Law can be a source of freedom and justice, but it can also be a source of terror. When we fail to find political solutions to political problems we resort to courts as a tool for terror.”

The court yesterday reacted to the hunger strike, with magistrates saying they had not had the opportunity to process the petitions lodged by the prisoners and their lawyers to take their cases to the Strasbourg court. 

They added that they will process the papers from Sanchez, Turull and Josep Rull against their provisional detention.