JAILED pro-independence prisoners in Catalonia have been allowed to leave jail with their privileges restored after being suspended two months ago by Spain’s Supreme Court.

They are classed as third degree, or low-risk, inmates and will only have to sleep in prison from Monday to Thursday.

The indy activists and politicians were all jailed for between nine and 13 years for their part in the 2017 referendum and their release will enable them to take part in political rallies with independence allies after judges confirmed the Catalan election will go ahead on February 14. They had previously suspended the Catalan government’s bid to delay the poll because of fears over the third wave of Covid-19.

Former minister Dolors Bassa was first to leave her jail yesterday, accompanied by her sister Montserrat.

“It’s not freedom, it’s an anomalous situation,” she told journalists, before urging people to take part in the Valentine’s Day poll, although she described it as an “imposed election”.

“I leave with drive and desire to say that [people] mobilise. Every person who stays at home is a vote for [Article] 155,” she said, a reference to Spain’s imposition of direct rule after the indyref.

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Later yesterday morning, Oriol Junqueras, Jordi Sanchez, Jordi Cuixart, Raul Romeva, Jordi Turull, Quim Forn and Josep Rull were all released from Lledoners prison. Sanchez told waiting journalists: “We need to head to the polls on February 14, because we must express the will of the majority in the country to be free.

“Yesterday marked 1200 days since I first entered prison, so don’t tell me that we don’t deserve leave permits while completing our sentences.”

Junqueras, the former vice president, focused on Covid-19, saying: “We have a country to lift up, a pandemic to overcome and an economy to recover.”

Rull and Romeva were sure that prosecutors will appeal against the return of their low-category status. Turull added: “We all know how they act.”

The only political prisoner to remain in jail is Carme Forcadell, former speaker of the Catalan Parliament, as Wad-ras prison is locked down because of an outbreak of coronavirus.

The February election campaign kicked off somewhat uncertainly on Thursday night, before judges confirmed the poll would go ahead.

However, everyone is aware that the justiciary could still change their minds.

After three years of political wrangling between the pro-indy ruling parties in the Catalan Parliament – the Republican Left of Catalonia and Together for Catalonia – the biggest challenge facing them in the election is maintaining their parliamentary majority.

And their biggest threat will be the unionist Socialist party, which is currently in power in Spain.