Rally in Barcelona to demand the release of jailed separatist leaders

Bessie Dean
April 16, 2018

At the cry of 'Freedom for political prisoners, ' one of the most said slogans by the participants, the march was seconded by representatives of Junts per Catalunya and Esquerra Republicana, the two largest groups in favor of the rupture with Spain.

"They need to demonstrate that there was violence to execute the sentences that they want, so they invent it", she said.

The rally marked six months of detention for pro-independence activists Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez, who face charges of rebellion leading to a jail term of 30 years.

"But it is not a separatist protest".

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.

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The involvement of the Catalan branches of the Worker's Commissions and General Workers' Union was not universally endorsed as some members oppose the region's secession. Spanish and German prosecutors met last week at the headquarters of Eurojust in The Hague. They are among the nine separatists leaders imprisoned.

Spain's central government imposed direct rule on Catalonia following its unilateral declaration of independence in October.

The independence movement is "a bit decapitated" following the arrests of its leaders but "this is temporary", added de Ferrer, who supports leftist separatist party ERC, whose leader Oriol Junqueras is in jail.

Catalonia's struggle to find a leader began after it declared independence in October. Leaders from both groups were jailed following the referendum. If a new leader is not named before the end of May, Catalonia will be forced to call another election.

In a letter sent from prison, former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras said that immediately forming a government was "a necessity" so that Catalonia could regain its political autonomy.

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