Madrid Arrests Two Catalan Separatist Leaders

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October 17, 2017
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October 17, 2017

Madrid Arrests Two Catalan Separatist Leaders

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Spain is a fascist police state, masquerading as democratic governance. Its High Court is a tool of the despotic Mariano Rajoy regime.

Established in May 2011, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) is a political organization, championing independence from Spain.

Omnium Cultural was established in July 1961, a group opposed to Francisco Franco’s military dictatorship. When it ended, it continued promoting language, culture and self-determination.

On July 10, 2010, it organized a one million-strong march in Barcelona, calling for independence from Spain.

On Monday, Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, ANC and Omnium Cultural leaders respectively, were arrested and jailed on charges of sedition.

They’re key Catalan independence activists. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont tweeted: “They are trying to imprison ideas, but they have strengthened our need for freedom.”

Separately, he said “Spain jails Catalonia’s civil society leaders for organizing peaceful demonstrations. Sadly, we have political prisoners once again,” alluding to dark times under Franco.

Hundreds of Barcelona residents responded to the arrests by banging pots from windows and balconies, along with displaying pro-independence flags.

Denied bail by Madrid’s High Court, Sanchez and Cuixart remain in custody. Under Spanish law, sedition involves extrajudicially challenging the exercise of governance in Madrid.

Its punishable by eight to 10 years in prison. Separatist leaders face up to 15 years imprisonment. Spanish law differentiates between sedition and rebellion.

Spain’s criminal code calls “declaring the independence of a part of the national territory” rebellion, punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

Francisco Franco’s regime sentenced 1930s exiled Catalan leader Lluis Companys and his ministers to 30 years imprisonment.

Captured by Hitler’s Gestapo and returned to Spain in 1940, Franco had Companys executed by firing squad.

The ANC called on Catalans to protest against Madrid peacefully on Tuesday. On Monday, Catalan police chief Lluis Trapero and Lt. Teresa Laplana were questioned by Madrid authorities and released.

Their passports were seized – per order of Spain’s High Court, told to appear in court every two weeks.

WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange condemned what happened, tweeting “Spain just created its first high level political prisoners over Catalonia’s referendum.”

On October 1, Catalans voted overwhelmingly for independence from fascist Spain. Puigdemont promised it within 48 hours of the referendum

Two-and-a-half weeks later, he’s failed to act. It’s time to stop seeking dialogue with the Rajoy regime rejecting it and formally declare independence.

That’s what the mettle of courage and leadership are all about – what Shakespeare called “gentlemen of brave mettle.”

A Final Comment

Rajoy-led Spanish People’s Party/European Parliament member Esteban Gonzales Pons accused Puigdemont of being a Russian tool, saying he’ll offer “proof that Russian networks supported (him) and the secessionist movement.”

The only so-called “proof” is or will be maliciously invented to denigrate and undermine the legitimacy of Catalan self-determination.

No credible evidence indicates Russian interference in the electoral process of any nation.

Putin earlier said “the Catalonia independence referendum situation (is) definitely…an internal affair of the Kingdom of Spain. We hope they will be able to overcome the crisis.”

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.