OMNIUM Cultural, the grassroots group headed by jailed Catalan independence leader Jordi Cuixart, has urged Scots to write to Nicola Sturgeon asking her to contact Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, to seek an amnesty and the release of the imprisoned leaders.

It is part of a wider online campaign called Act for Catalonia, which targets European citizens and calls on them to write to their own political leaders.

In a draft letter, Omnium says “Scotland cannot turn a blind eye” to what is happening in Catalonia.

It reads: “I am writing to you to express my concern over the situation in Spain. Recently the activist Jordi Cuixart and eight Catalan political leaders were unfairly convicted of sedition.

“Cuixart, president of Omnium Cultural, will spend nine years in prison for exercising his human rights, such as freedom of expression and the right to protest. In total, the Catalan leaders will have to spend 100 years in prison for supporting a referendum.

“This sentence ‘opens the door to criminalising peaceful acts of protest’, as Amnesty International has declared. Organisations such as the UN WGAD [Working Group on Arbitrary Detention] have demanded the release of the Catalan leaders, since ‘they were always acting in the exercise of their fundamental rights’.

“Scotland cannot turn a blind eye. Thus, I call upon you to convey to the Spanish PM the need to amnesty and release the imprisoned Catalan leaders.”

READ MORE: Catalan prisoners to return to parliament for 'direct rule' inquiry

The campaign uses a digital platform to enable supporters to contact Sturgeon, along with Germany’s Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron in France, and Boris Johnson.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We support the right of the Catalan people to decide their own future and we maintain Catalonia’s destiny should be decided through the ballot box, not in the courts.

“We will continue to encourage the Spanish and Catalan governments to resolve their differences by mutually agreed democratic means.”

Meanwhile, a Spanish government spokesperson has reiterated the Sanchez executive’s commitment to holding negotiations with the Catalan government before the end of the month.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson labelled ‘populist’ by wife of Catalan activist

Maria Jesus Montero said yesterday: “We are in contact with the offices to schedule the agenda and the members who will take part in it.

“The calendar is not the priority. We want it to go well and that the negotiating table is a success. If this means that we have to wait another week to finish closing all the fringes it is normal, if you want the success of the meeting.”

Pro-independence parties the Republican Left (ERC) and Together for Catalonia (JxCat) have differing views on whether there should be a mediator and who that should be. However, Montero said that such a figure would not be necessary as citizens could watch how the negotiations advance.