Spanish government jails Catalans as political prisoners

This video says about itself:

2 November 2017

Pro-independence crowd demonstrated in front of the Generalitat (the Catalan regional government) in Barcelona as a Spanish judge on Thursday ordered eight members of the deposed Catalan government detained pending further probes into their role in the region’s tumultuous quest for independence. A European arrest warrant was also issued for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont who is now in Belgium.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Saturday, 4 November 2017


TENS of thousands have demonstrated in Barcelona in protest at the jailing of eight deposed Catalan ministers who have been remanded in prison by a Spanish high court judge over the region’s push for independence.

The protesters waved placards saying ‘free political prisoners’. The remanded ministers are accused of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds. Catalonia’s former business minister Santi Vila yesterday called on the Spanish state to ‘end the terrible situation that has resulted in politicians being imprisoned’ after leaving a detention centre in Madrid on bail.

Vila, who resigned the day before the declaration of independence on October 27th, was the only one granted the chance to be freed if he paid a bond of 50,000 euros.

The other eight remain in prison. After paying his bond, Vila left a detention centre in Estremera yesterday afternoon. The 44-year-old stopped briefly to speak with reporters before departing in a car.

He said: ‘Disproportionate measures have been taken. I’m convinced democrats of the world do not understand it.’ He called upon the major authorities in the Spanish state, including PM Mariano Rajoy, President of the Congress of Deputies Ana Pastor and President of the Senate Pio Garcia-Escudero to ‘end this terrible situation that has resulted in politicians being imprisoned’.

‘Take action in the matter and take political initiative. This won’t be solved in courts; it will be solved with politics’, he insisted. Meanwhile, deposed Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont’s Belgian lawyer Paul Bekaert told Flemish television channel VRT that a European arrest warrant ‘has been issued against the president and four other ministers who are in Belgium’.

He said he expected that the Spanish judiciary would send an extradition request to Belgian federal prosecutors, adding that Puigdemont would appeal if a Belgian judge approved the request. The EU continues to support the Spanish government.

European Commission spokeswoman Annika Breidthardt told journalists: ‘This is a matter entirely for the judicial authorities whose independence we respect fully.’ German Chancellor Merkel’s press chief Steffen Seibert told reporters:
‘As government spokesman, I see no reason at all to comment on decisions made by Spanish courts. We continue to support the clear position of the Spanish prime minister (Mariano Rajoy).’

Spanish army threatens to intervene in Catalonia as ministers are jailed: here.

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