Sometimes, police arrest football fans for hooliganism. But in this case, the arrests were for wearing yellow shirts; seen as a protest against making Catalans political prisoners.
From AFP news agency today:
Spanish authorities under fire over cup final yellow ban
Several television stations showed pictures of police forcing Barça fans to discard their yellow T-shirts before entering the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid ahead of the 5-0 thrashing of Sevilla that earned the Catalan club a 30th Copa del Rey victory.
Many Catalans — including Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola whose ribbon has resulted in a fine by English football authorities — have been donning yellow to show support for nine Catalan independence leaders held in prison near Madrid over “rebellion”.
They face up to 30 years in jail if convicted of that charge. …
Barça have often played a significant role in the Catalan independence movement supported by many of their fans. The club is seen by many as a bastion of resistance against Madrid domination, not just on the football field but in political halls too.
Saturday’s measures sparked anger in Catalonia.
“Inexplicable. We’re a club that defends freedom of expression”, said Barça chairman Josep Maria Bartomeu after the game, adding that he would demand an explanation from the Spanish Football Federation.
“If now, a simple colour is an offence to the State, where are we going?” former Catalonia president Carles Puigdemont tweeted from Germany where he is in self-imposed exile to avoid a Spanish arrest warrant.
Social media users reacted with irony, asking if the match officials for the cup final would also have their jerseys taken from them as they were wearing yellow.
A goal from Argentine superstar Lionel Messi and two from Uruguay international forward Luis Suarez helped Barça cruise to victory.
The Catalan separatist Candidatures of Popular Unity (CUP) party has publicly denounced a coordinated and overt campaign of police spying directed against it. At a press conference last Thursday in front of CUP headquarters, National Secretary Núria Gibert and former deputy Mireia Boya explained that the police have been spying on them for over a year, since before last October’s Catalan independence referendum, and are continuing to do so: here.
Catalan separatists indicted for rebellion, facing jail for up to 25 years: here.
At least 200,000 people—500,000 according to the organizers—marched in Barcelona on Saturday against the show trial of 12 Catalan nationalist leaders, which began last week in Madrid. The trial is being held in the aftermath of last Wednesday’s collapse of the Spanish government. The defendants are being prosecuted on fraudulent charges of sedition and rebellion for organizing the 2017 referendum on Catalan independence from Spain. They face a possible sentence of up to 25 years in prison: here.
Over the last two weeks, Madrid has launched a judicial frame-up of Catalan nationalist politicians and leaders in a public show trial. Their prosecution on charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds for organising the 2017 independence referendum is groundless and reactionary: here.
Spain’s Public Prosecution Office and Solicitor General are pursuing charges for rebellion against 36 voters in the 2017 Catalan independence referendum. Their supposed crime is to have complained about police violence: here.
The United Nations (UN) Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has called for the “immediate release” of four Catalan political prisoners currently in detention waiting for a verdict in the show trial mounted by the Spanish government, 20 months after they were incarcerated: here.