ONE of Catalonia’s nine jailed pro-independence leaders is calling for international mediation to break the deadlock with Spain.

Jordi Cuixart, President of Òmnium Cultural, who has spent the past year locked up awaiting trial, says despite calls from foreign politicians and human rights groups, no progress seems possible with the Spanish government.

READ MORE: Jordi Cuixart: I am a political prisoner, held hostage by Spain

Writing exclusively in The National, Cuixart says the Catalan crisis been at an impasse for too long

“It is an urgent political problem in need of a political solution ... Since no progress seems possible with the Spanish government, perhaps it is time for international mediation where the EU itself or a European government plays a role.”

Òmnium was originally established in the 1960s to promote the Catalan language and culture when both had been persecuted under the Franco dictatorship.

It has more than 115,000 members and in recent years has promoted massive, peaceful demonstrations in support of Catalans’ right to self-determination.

Cuixart was arrested on October 16 last year and in the year since has seen his 18-month-old son for just a few hours every month.

“When I was arrested a year ago they accused me of sedition for climbing on top of a Spanish police car (with the permission of those policemen) claiming that I had done so to incite a siege and violence by the very peaceful protesters I was attempting to disperse in Barcelona,” he says.

“When videos surfaced of that day showing that I was asking the peaceful protesters to go home the Spanish government switched the charges from sedition to rebellion.

“Now I am accused of inciting people to participate in the 1 October 2017 referendum and urging them to block the Spanish police as they violently went into polling stations to stop the vote. Both charges are false and without a shred of proof. It is a farce.”

Cuixart says rebellion will be difficult to prove, but that if he is convicted, his case will go to the European courts.

“Spain has already seen that neither Germany, nor Scotland, nor Belgium have granted their European Arrest Warrant petitions to extradite elected members of the Catalan government who fled seeking protection from similar charges, because their judges already saw that the charges were baseless under Spanish law.

“Is Spain the only country that doesn’t want to see that the only violence committed in Catalonia was that of their own policemen beating peaceful voters ... something that was shown on TV and the front pages of newspapers around the world? If 80% of any people say they want to vote on their political future in a referendum, as is the case in Catalonia, you can’t really pretend that you aren’t hearing this call.

“When Canada and the UK heard such a call they decided to negotiate referendums with Quebec and Scotland. When more than two million Catalans turn out to vote ... you don’t send in Spanish police to beat up peaceful citizens.”