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Catalan Ministers Jailed on Charges of Rebellion & Sedition over Independence Vote

Thousands protested in Catalonia on Thursday after eight regional ministers were jailed and accused of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds — as the constitutional crisis in Spain continues. The regional ministers had already been fired by Spain’s central government over Catalonia’s independence referendum, and they now face up to 50 years in prison. 

“This is shameful, because they have committed a coup d’état," said protester Maria Carrera. "They are Francists and Nazis. I want to go to the prison, where our comrades are being held.”

Jaume Solana, another protester in Barcelona said, “It is unjust because there is no democracy like this. It is unjust because many politicians that have stolen are free, and today they are in prison, and that is unjust.”

Spanish prosecutors are also seeking a European arrest warrant for Catalonia’s leader Carles Puigdemont, who is in exile in Belgium, along with other members of the Catalan government.

“The Spanish government decision to imprison the vice president and the Cabinet members of the legitimate government of Catalonia, elected in the polls of September 27, is a very grave mistake. It is a grave attack on democracy. Imprisoning political leaders with ample citizen support is an act that violates the basic principle of democracy.” — Catalonia’s leader Carles Puigdemont

In late October, Spain’s government seized control of Catalonia using Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution — which had never been used before in modern Spain’s democratic history. The move stripped the northeastern region of its autonomy in efforts to crush Catalonia’s growing independence movement.

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