Barcelona holds massive march against jailing of separatist leaders

Evarado Alatorre
Abril 16, 2018

In addition to the freedom of the separatists in preventive detention, the demonstrators - some 300, 000 according to the Barcelona Urban Guard - demanded the return of the seven separatist leaders exiled in other European countries.

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

The presidents of the National Catalan Assembly (ANC) and Omnium Cultural, a Catalan cultural association that presses for Catalonia's self-determination, are among the separatists awaiting trial.

The Guardia Urbana, a Catalan municipal police force, said 315,000 people turned out.

The regional chapters of Spain's two leading labor unions, along with other civil society groups, supported the protest, despite the complaints from some members who disagree with secession for Catalonia.

"The majority of Catalans, regardless of their political position, agree that pre-trial jail is not justified", said regional UGT union leader Camil Ros.

Guàrdia Urbana BCN
Guàrdia Urbana BCNVerified account @barcelona_GUB

Puigdemont is also accused of misuse of public funds for staging an independence referendum in Catalonia on October 1 despite it having been ruled unconstitutional by the courts. Both men face rebellion charges which could lead to jail terms of 30 years.

We will remind that the former head of the Catalan Generalitat left the prison in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein after the court agreed to release him on bail during the pendency of the request of Spain for his extradition. They are among the nine separatists leaders imprisoned.

Spanish authorities quickly moved to crush the revived secessionist movement by arresting several Catalonian politicians on charges of rebellion and sedition.

If a new leader in Catalonia is not elected by May 22, new regional elections will be held.

Puigdemont is also accused of misuse of public funds for staging an independence referendum in Catalonia on October 1st even though the courts had ruled it unconstitutional.

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