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Jordi Cuixart

Jordi Cuixart

HRD & President
Òmnium Cultural

Jordi Cuixart is the president of Òmnium Cultural, a non-governmental organisation, which was founded in 1961 in response to censorship and persecution of Catalan culture by the Franco dictatorship. Òmnium Cultural has been working to promote and preserve Catalan language and cultural heritage ever since its establishment. Serving its purpose, the organisation has also founded and sponsored various awards and literary contests for works published in Catalan. Upon the restoration of democracy in Spain, Omnium Cultural has been actively involved in the promotion and defence of human rights in Catalonia. Over the last few years, the association has helped to organise a number of peaceful demonstrations in support of the right of people in Catalonia to decide their political future freely and democratically.

The conditions of HRDs working on issues related to refugees have become more challenging in recent years. In 2015, the Spanish government granted border guards the authority to execute summary expulsions of migrants from Ceuta and Melilla to Morocco. This allowed the authorities to return around 100 migrants to Morocco after they crossed the border of the Spanish Ceuta without verification whether they were eligible for asylum. The law was not amended despite a decision of the European Court of Human Rights condemning this practice.