Barcelona: Massive protests after arrest of Catalan leaders

Barcelona is witnessing massive protests after the Spanish High Court detained five Catalan leaders who had played a decisive role in the declaration of independence of the region. Catalonia had declared independence from Spain in October 2017 after many political oscillations between national and state governments. The Independence Declaration was not recognised by the international community.

Protestors were carrying the flag of the newly formed Catalan Republic along with slogans like “Freedom for Political Prisoners”. The political leaders which were detained include President of Catalonia’s regional government Jordi Turull, Raul Romeva, Dolors Bassa, Josep Rull and also Carme Forcadell the ex-President of the Parliament. Detention orders were given by a Spanish Judge Pablo Llarena on account of clear insurrection during their secession moves. The High Court has also issued additional arrest warrants for six more politicians of Catalonia. Many other known politicians have already fled the country to avoid arrest, they include former President of Catalan Carles Puigdemont, head of Catalan Republican Left Party Marta Rovira and Oriol Junqueras- the former Vice President of Catalan.

Snap elections were held in Catalonia in December which was called by the Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy. Although the secessionist parties had emerged victorious, the separatist majority was not able to elect a regional government even after two months. Mariano reiterated the fact that the Spanish law does not allow secession and despite the voting by Catalan people politicians have to settle their differences.




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