Originally in Catalonia to observe the referendum, an international delegation largely consisting of independentist and populist party politicians has spoken out against the Spanish authorities.
The spokesperson for the international delegation, Dimitrij Rupel said:
“The Spanish authorities have interfered with the democratic process, in the morning when we arrived we saw an optimistic crowd preparing to vote, preparing to engage in the democratic process and now we see a crowd which is disappointed, of course”, the former Foreign Minister of Slovenia told the press.
Police violence against citizens in #Catalonia is shocking. The Spanish government must act to end it now.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) October 1, 2017
I urge @Theresa_May to appeal directly to Rajoy to end police violence in Catalonia & find political solution to this constitutional crisis.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) October 1, 2017
The group of observers was invited to the autonomous region by Diplocat, the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia.
The Civil Guard has been deployed across the region to try to ensure the ballot, which the Spanish government has deemed unconstitutional, doesn’t take place. Electronic voting has been hindered and reports suggest the Internet connection has been cut at many polling stations, forcing electoral officers to record votes manually.
Euronews correspondent Francisco Fuentes was in Barcelona:
“The strength of the police action in some polling stations has surprised some. The international delegation will make a comprehensive report of what has happened and bring it to the attention of the international community,” he said.