TEHRAN (defapress) – Protests erupted in Catalonia as Spain's Supreme Court on Monday sentenced nine separatist leaders to between nine and 13 years in prison for sedition over their role in a failed bid for independence in October 2017.
News ID: 78933
Publish Date: 15October 2019 - 11:58
The three other defendants in the landmark ruling, which stemmed from the holding of a referendum that had been banned and a short-lived independence declaration, were found guilty only of disobedience and not sentenced to prison.
All defendants were acquitted of the gravest charge, rebellion, but other leading separatists were quick to call the ruling an “atrocity" and an “attack on democracy".
Protesters blocked five regional roads across Catalonia, officials at the Catalan road traffic agency said on Monday as people opposing the sentencing to jail of pro-independence leaders took to the streets.
Several streets in Barcelona were also blocked by protests, including parts of Diagonal Avenue, which crosses the whole city, local police said. There were also protests in several big Catalan municipalities, such as Girona and Lleida.
Train tracks were briefly blocked outside Girona, a separatist stronghold, rail operator Rodalies said on Twitter.
A Catalan police spokesperson told Reuters that no major incidents had been reported at the time, but declined to give more details.
Much is at stake, both for Spain and for its wealthiest region, whose independence drive attracted worldwide attention, triggered Spain's biggest political crisis in decades and unnerved financial markets.