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Two Catalan separatists are jailed

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By Euronews
Two Catalan separatists are jailed

<p>Two key members of Catalonia’s independence movement have been detained pending an investigation into alleged sedition.</p> <p>Prosecutors allege that Jordi Sanchez who heads the Catalan National Assembly (<span class="caps">ANC</span>) and Jordi Cuixart leader of Omnium Cultural played central roles in orchestrating the Oct 1 referendum.</p> <p>They are also accused of orchestrating pro-independence protests that trapped national police inside a Barcelona building and destroyed their vehicles.</p> <p>Anticipating his arrest Sanchez recorded a video saying This is not justice. It’s an act aimed at frightening us and punishing us for defending freedom”. </p> <p>Catalan regional President Carles Puigdemont Tweeted: “They are trying to imprison ideas, but they have strengthened our need for freedom”.</p> <p>He also commented, “ Spain jails Catalonia’s civil society leaders for organising peaceful demonstrations. Sadly, we have political prisoners once again.” – an allusion to Spain’s military dictatorship under Francisco Franco.</p> <p>Later dozens of people in Barcelona showed they discomfort with the detentions by leaning on their balconies, many decorated with pro-independence flags, and banging pots.</p> <br /> <p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Barcelona Firefighters tonight protest againt the detention of civical Catalonia’s leaders <a href="https://t.co/rTg8p9PqP7">pic.twitter.com/rTg8p9PqP7</a></p>— Help Catalonia (@CataloniaHelp2) <a href="https://twitter.com/CataloniaHelp2/status/920035032588267520?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 16, 2017</a></blockquote><br /> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <br /> <p>Just hours before the decision to detain the two men, the High Court freed the head of Catalonia’s police force, Josep Lluis Trapero.</p> <p>His force, the Mossos d’Esquadra, is accused of failing to help Spain’s Guardia Civil police tackle thousands of pro-independence protesters in Barcelona during the run-up to the referendum.</p> <p>The arrests of Sanchez and Cuixart are however being seen as a hardening of Madrid’s stance. Catalan’s leader has until Thursday to back down over his apparent independence bid.</p>