FORMER Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and John Lennon’s former wife Yoko Ono are among the names on a petition to open talks between Spain and Catalonia.

On the run up to the Catalan elections in the wake of the departure of former leader Quim Torra, pro independence civil rights organisation Omnium have issued a petition to instigate ‘sincere dialogue’ between the two bodies.

So far 50 famous celebrities and influencial people have signed the petition including Adams and Ono, along with Nobel Prize winners and UN dignitaries.

Among the signatures are American political activist Jody Williams, Irish peace activist Mairead Corrigan, Iranian political activist Shirin Ebadi and Argentine painter and activist Adolfo Perez Esquivel.

The aim of the manifesto is to give the Catalan’s the right to decide their own future and to end repression from Spain.

It also aims to grant amnesty for those prosecuted over the 2017 failed independence attempt, including Omnium head Jordi Cuixart.

“These 50 signatories denounce once again the breach of international law by the Spanish state, and it is a serious anomaly of a state of the European Union that it continues to deny the right to self-determination of Catalonia, and it continues to ignore the UN and the main human rights organisations in the world.” said Cuixart.

Cuixart was among dozens of activists and politicians jailed in 2017 for their part in the 2017 unrest.

He was sentenced to nine years by the Spanish government for sedition, however Amnesty International have called his detainment a ‘breach of his right to free speech and peaceful assembly.’

Omnium was formed at the height of the Franco regime in 1961 as a non-profit cultural organisation dedicated to spreading Catalan culture and preserving Catalan language.

However in the light of recent controversies regarding political landmines surrounding the Spanish handling of the 2017 referendum and the apparent unconstitutional jailing of activists and politicians, the organisation has become the driving force for peaceful discourse.

“The use of a judicial system to resolve a political crisis has only brought growing repression on hundreds of citizens and no solution.” said Cuixart.

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