Catalan independence leaders get prison terms

Free them all

Spain’s Supreme Court on Oct. 14 ordered imprisoned nine Catalan political leaders—with sentences ranging from nine to 13 years for the crimes of sedition and misuse of public funds—over their role in organizing the 2017 independence referendum. The sentences are each followed by equal periods of absolute ineligibility for public office. Oriol Junqueras—the former vice-president of Catalonia and the highest-ranking of the defendants—received the longest sentence. Three others were found guilty of disobedience and fined. The sentences have sparked protests in the region, with assembled crowds causing flights to be canceled at Barcelona’s airport. Police used batons and rubber bullets to regain control of the facility. Demonstrators also gathered at Barcelona’s Plaça San Jaume, the seat of the Catalan government, and erected barricades across roads and rail lines elsewhere in the city. Catalonia’s feared anti-riot force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, has been mobilized to clear the streets. (BBC Newsround, Jurist, The Local, Spain; infoLibre, Spain)

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  1. Spain bars Catalan independence leader from taking EU parliament seat

    The head of the criminal division of Spain’s Supreme Court sent a letter to the EU Parliament on Thursday stating that the 13-year prison sentence for Oriol Junqueras, a Catalan independence leader, would bar him from sitting in the EU parliament. (Jurist)

  2. Spanish rightists rally against amnesty for Catalan leaders

    Tens of thousands of protesters packed the streets of Madrid on June 13 to rally against plans to pardon 12 Catalan politicians convicted over the region’s failed independence bid in 2017. The Supreme Court convicted 12 Catalan separatists for their role in the crisis, with nine of them handed jail terms of between nine and 13 years in October 2019. (Al JazeeraDaily Mail)

  3. Spain: amnesty for Catalan independence leaders

    The Spanish government has granted pardons to nine pro-independence leaders serving decade-long sentences in Catalonia for their role in the 2017 referendum and independence push. The cabinet approved the pardons at its weekly meeting on June 22, after its president, Pedro Sánchez, announced the move a day earlier, arguing the decision had been made in order to advance “reconciliation” among Catalans and between Catalonia and Spain. (Catalan News)