Catalan Leaders Arrested

Oct 17, 2017

A judge in Spain ordered two leading Catalan secessionists jailed without bail “pending an investigation for alleged sedition.” Prosecutors say the two men “played central roles in orchestrating pro-independence protests.” The High Court also banned Catalan’s police chief from leaving Spain while he is investigated. His passport was seized. In response to the arrests, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) called for peaceful protests around Catalonia on Tuesday. Catalan’s president tweeted, “Spain jails Catalonia’s civil society leaders for organizing peaceful demonstrations. Sadly, we have political prisoners again.” A reference to Spain’s military dictatorship under Franco. The president of Catalan evaded giving a direct answer to Prime Minister Rajoy on whether or not he had “declared unilateral independence in a speech last week.” Instead the president called for “sincere and honest” dialogue over the next two months. The prime minister responded by saying that Spain’s government might trigger the constitution’s Article 155 that would suspend the Catalan region’s autonomous rule. Spain’s government has rejected any talks until Catalan’s president “gives up the independence demand.”