SPAIN is on the verge of a trial that will decide the future of its democracy. On February 12, I will sit before the Supreme Court in Madrid, with my name among those of the accused, but it will be Spain’s democracy itself that will be facing trial. I, along with 11 others, am being prosecuted for having defended the most basic human rights: the right to vote on one’s political future, the right to demonstrate peacefully, the right to freedom of expression.

No matter what the outcome of the trial, my resolve to continue defending these rights will remain firm.

READ MORE: Pedro Sanchez rapped as tensions mount over Catalan mediator

On October 16, 2017, I, along with another civil society leader, Jordi Sànchez, was placed in pre-trial detention where I have been ever since.

Our crime? In our capacity as presidents of two civil society groups, Omnium Cultural and the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), we led peaceful demonstrations, and called on citizens to speak through the ballot box, always guided by the strictest principles of non- violence.

The National:

In their reckless supposed protection of Spain’s unity, the Spanish judiciary has bent and twisted the law in order to make an example of us.

The Supreme Court agreed to try two civil society leaders and 10 former parliament and government leaders on charges of rebellion, sedition and even criminal organisation.

READ MORE: Judges ‘bending law’ to make an example of Catalan leaders

This is despite the fact that sedition and rebellion require the use of violence, something that only the Spanish police engaged in during Catalonia’s October 1, 2017, self-determination referendum.

The legal aberrations in this highly politicised trial continue to pile up.

I am not a politician, and have never held any political office.

READ MORE: Democracy on trial: Catalan leaders to face rebellion charges

I am a businessman, who also heads one of the largest non-profit organisations in Spain, and by trying me at the highest court in the land I am denied any right of appeal, as guaranteed to all citizens in the European Union.

For over a year now I have been unjustifiably incarcerated, cut off from my business, my family, my cultural non-profit, seeing my wife and child just a few hours per month, watching my son grow up from behind a prison glass partition.

Of all the irregularities to which we have been subjected, perhaps the most worrisome is the ongoing collusion between Spain’s highest court and the far-right ultra-nationalist and xenophobic political party, Vox, that has been allowed to prosecute us along with Spain’s State Prosecutor and Attorney General.

Vox is supported by the likes of Marine le Pen and Steve Bannon, the kind of ideologues who want to bring down the European Union and send us back to the 1930’s.

Despite this, judicial proceedings have often followed the dictates of this extremist party, sometimes even to the letter, with the indictments of the State Prosecutor and the Attorney General mirroring entire pages with the indictment presented by Vox.

The National:

I have not been the only one to denounce these judicial aberrations.

International organisations including Amnesty International, the World Organisation Against Torture and Front Line Defenders, along with a UN Special Rapporteur, have all called on Spanish authorities to drop all charges against me and to end the pre-trial detention immediately.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Raad al Hussein, encouraged a resolution of the situation through political dialogue.

Because of where we have come to with this unjustifiable political vendetta, and because of my firm commitment to the human rights of all citizens, I will not go into this trial repentant or pleading for mercy.

I will use it as a loudspeaker to denounce every single violation of human rights that the notoriously politicised Supreme Court is carrying out, and as a platform to defend all expressions of democratic freedom that is currently endangered in Spain. I will accuse the Spanish State.

READ MORE: Jordi Cuixart to accuse Spain of violating fundamental rights

I cannot predict the outcome of the trial.

Will Spain really pronounce a sentence of capital punishment against its own democracy? Perhaps.

However there is still hope, as long as my fellow Europeans raise their voices in defence of human rights.

If there is a call throughout the continent for a political solution to the existing political problem between Catalonia and Spain, rather than judicial vengeance, then Spain’s democracy will prevail.

I am aware of the responsibility that has fallen upon me.

All over Europe, the liberal democracies that we have fought so hard to establish are faltering before the rising tide of the far-right.

This trial is just one more battlefield.

I, therefore, vow that no matter how dehumanising the conditions, no matter the humiliations or hardships this trial has brought upon me and my family, I will stand firm by my convictions.

I am certain I will not stand alone. And now, more than ever, in a globalised world defending democracy in Barcelona is just as important as defending it in Moscow, Ankara or Caracas.