Catalan political prisoners being held in Madrid will receive a delegation of 17 MEPs from different political groups.

The eight members of the legitimate Catalan government have been imprisoned, including two former MEPs, Oriol Junqueras and Raül Romeva. In addition, two pro-independence civil society leaders, Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, have also been jailed.

The MEPs visiting the Madrid prisons are from four different political groups (Greens/EFA, GUE/NGL, ALDE and ECR) and include Martina Anderson, Izaskun Bilbao, José Bové, Mark Demesmaeker, Jill Evans, Eleonora Forenza, Josu Juaristi, Lídia Senra Rodríguez, Jordi Solé, Igor Soltes, Bart Staes, Indrek Tarand, Josep-Maria Terricabras, Ramón Tremosa, Marie-Pierre Vieu, Renate Weber, and Tatjana Zdanoka.

Catalonia voted for independence from Spain in a referendum held on October 1 which was marred by police violence against peaceful voters. The Catalan government held the referendum having won a parliamentary majority in favour of doing so.

Spain has since imprisoned several members of the legitimate Catalan government whilst others have been exiled, and direct rule imposed from Madrid.

With a view to the December 21 elections, the MEPs are calling for the release of the members of the legitimate Catalan government. They also want Madrid to meet the necessary conditions for those who are in exile to return.