Spain: Catalans demand freedom for ‘political prisoners’
July 17, 2018
Thousands took to the streets of Barcelona on Wednesday, issuing a three-way demand: freedom for political prisoners, return of exiles and an end to reprisals by the Spanish state.
People marched with a banner reading ‘Free Political Prisoners’ and chanted slogans in front of the Catalan parliament.
“It is tremendously unjust,” said one protester, who felt that people should not be punished for voting.
Protest organisers from the National Catalan Assembly (ANC) and Omnium had planned to march to the Palau de la Generalitat.
They claim that the Spanish state has launched a crackdown since the autonomous region was brought under direct rule in last year.
Spain: Solidarity march for imprisoned and exiled Catalan politicians
Over 100,000 people marched in Barcelona on Saturday, to demand the freedom for political prisoners, return of exiles and an end to reprisals by the Spanish state.
The protesters marched through the city, carrying a big banner, reading “Not as prisoners, not as exiles, we want them [Catalan politicians] at home”, as well as numerous Catalan flags.
Heading the crowd was Joaquim Torra, President of the Generalitat of Catalonia. Speaking to the press, he said, “They must be released immediately. We demand from the Spanish state to release the political prisoners, and to allow the immediate return of our exiles.”
Marta Vilalta from the Republican Left of Catalonia party, added, “The German justice said that there was no rebellion and no sedition, that there wasn’t violence, so they are truly political prisoners, those who are now in prison.”
The march was organised by grassroots campaigners from Omnium Cultural, la ANC y la Associacio Catalans pels Drets Civils.
Spain: ‘La Modelo’ prison occupation demands release of Catalan leaders
Supporters of Catalan independence occupied the former ‘La Modelo’ prison in Barcelona on Saturday to demand the release of jailed Catalan leaders.
which is now serving as a reminder of a Franco dictatorship,
People entered the old penitentiary facility holding Catalan ‘Estelada’ flags, banners reading ‘Freedom for political prisoners’.
Many of the Catalan leaders involved in last October’s independence referendum have since been imprisoned on charges of sedition and rebellion.
Explaining the reason behind the choice of the venue, Merce, one of the protesters, said “this place is an icon of the Franco regime and here we want to demand freedom for political prisoners.”
‘La Modelo’ prison became especially notorious for being a torture facility during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939. The prison was closed in June last year, after 113 long years.