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Catalan regional leader Quim Torra calls for amnesty for convicted separatists

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Catalunya's President Quim Torra, accompanied of Parliament President Roger Torrent, delivers a statement at the Catalan regional Parliament in Barcelona, Spain.
Catalunya's President Quim Torra, accompanied of Parliament President Roger Torrent, delivers a statement at the Catalan regional Parliament in Barcelona, Spain. -
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REUTERS/Rafael Marchante - REUTERS/Rafael Marchante
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President of the region of Catalonia Quim Torra demands amnesty for the nine separatists, who have been sentenced to between 9 and 13 years in prison for sedition and misappropriation of public funds.

The separatist political leader has made a statement on Tuesday, a few hours after hearing the sentence, backed by other institutional representatives of the Catalan government.

"We call for an end to repression, for the release of the political prisoners, for the exiles to be free to return home, for an amnesty that should mark an endpoint for all of those who have suffered reprisals", said president Quim Torra.

The Catalan regional president has harshly criticised the sentence, describing it as an "insult to democracy" and to be an "heiress to the dictatorship". For the leader, the ruling of Spain's supreme court was an act of "vengeance and not justice".

Quim Torra has claimed that the Catalan people will respond with "firmness and civility", but has not directly encouraged any protest that is not "pacific". At the end of his speech, he said he would seek an urgent meeting with Spain's King Felipe VI and acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has appeared in Moncloa and gave his "absolute respect and compliance" to the sentence and claimed that the judicial process had been transparent.

"I would like to express absolute respect for and compliance with the Supreme Court's ruling by the Government of Spain. In a social and democratic state governed by the rule of law, compliance means full compliance. It has been a judicial process with full guarantees and transparency", said Spain's Prime Minister.

Catalonia's chief has repeatedly defended the peaceful nature of the separatist movement. However, at the begging of the month, the main independentist political parties and groups presented a manifesto that defended the legitimacy of civil disobedience as an instrument to claim civil and political rights.

After the reading of the sentence, thousands of people have taken the streets of the main cities of Catalonia. The civil pro-separatist organisations have called for a massive protest in Barcelona's airport and the CDR grassroots movements.

Watch back: Euronews interview with jailed Catalan leader Oriol Junqueras

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