TODAY, there will be a protest outside 10 Downing Street. That in itself is not unusual. Legitimate protests are a feature of life at Westminster.

This protest is about people in Catalonia being arrested and imprisoned for protesting about their rights to be heard and respected prior to their independence referendum in October 2017. Two of the organisers, Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez have been in prison for over a year without trial. Seven others are also in prison, including Carme Forcadell, who was the speaker in the Catalan parliament.

The campaign for Catalan independence is as long and as complicated as Scotland’s. But, while those of us who believe in Scotland’s independence continue to face bias within the media – one only has to look as far back as last week’s BBC Question Time for that – we still have a judiciary and a police force free from bias and corruption.

READ MORE: Jordi Cuixart: Catalan trials will judge Spanish democracy

Questions are being asked as to just how independent the Spanish judiciary is. Today in Madrid, 12 political prisoners will be put on trial in front of the Spanish Supreme Court. Ten of the 12 judges are appointed by politicians. The other two by the General Council, whose members are appointed by politicians in Madrid. Nine of the prisoners will be tried for sedition and rebellion, three for lesser crimes.

Their fate will be decided by the Spanish Supreme Court and in a curious twist, within Spanish law, they will also face questioning from members of the extreme right-wing political party VOX. They have increased their anti-Catalan rhetoric in recent elections in Andalusia. Their strategy is to appeal to the Spanish nationalistic movement and any criticism of Catalan self-determination plays to that choir. Most alarmingly, the Supreme Court has ruled against international observers, including those from Amnesty International.

The fear amongst the prisoners is that they face a show trial and their fate is already sealed.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr said: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Well, this matters.

Ronnie Cowan is the SNP vice-chair of the APPG on Catalonia