Large protests demand jailed Catalonian separatists go free

Pro-independence supporters attend a demonstration in Barcelona Spain

Pro-independence supporters attend a demonstration in Barcelona Spain

It is estimated that more than 300.000 people participated in the protest.

The first two jailed were Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, who wield influence through their pro-independence civic organizations.

The protest was backed by the Catalan branches of Spain's two largest trade unions, the CCOO and the UGT.

Alex de Ferrer, a 50-year-old IT specialist, told Agence France Presse (AFP) that he had made a decision to join the protest as jailing separatist leaders "only serves to manufacture separatists".

Police in Barcelona said some 315,000 people gathered in Catalonia's capital on Sunday to demand the release and freedom to return for a number of Catalan politicians who had been involved in the failed attempt to break away from the rest of Spain a year ago.

Spanish justice authorities accuse the Catalan politicians of incitement to mutiny, and their leader Carles Pokdemon at home waiting for the court and probably a life sentence for the coup attempt in the country.

"There have been tensions [among unions members] just like in the rest of the Catalan society", the secretary general of the Catalan branch of UGT, Camil Ros, told AFP.

A German court ruled that he could not be extradited to Spain on rebellion charges but is still considering an extradition on charges of corruption.

He was elected as a lawmaker in snap polls in Catalonia in December and has twice been proposed as a candidate to lead a new Catalan regional government, but a judge refused both times to allow him to leave jail to be sworn in. They are among the nine separatists leaders imprisoned.

The secession movement in the wealthy region has plunged Spain into its deepest institutional crisis in decades. "The interpretation of the references to "Catalonia as a nation" and to "the national reality of Catalonia" in the preamble of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia have no legal effect", the constitutional court had decreed.

Fresh regional elections will be triggered if a new leader is not elected by May 22nd.

Notícias recomendadas

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.