Massive protests erupted across Catalonia this week after a Spanish court sentenced nine pro-independence Catalan leaders to vicious prison terms.
Oriol Junqueras, former deputy leader of the region’s government, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for sedition and misuse of public funds.
Six other former Catalan officials were sentenced to between ten and 12 years. Two Catalan politicians who headed pro-independence organisations were sentenced to nine years each.
The Spanish authorities immediately renewed their demand for the arrest of Carles Puigdemont, the former head of the Catalan government, who has fled to Belgium.
Their supposed crime was to have held an independence referendum in October 2017 in defiance of the Spanish state.
The true crime was the repression unleashed by Spain against the referendum that left over 1,000 people injured.
Disgracefully, a spokesperson for the EU’s European Commission said, “This is, and remains, an internal matter for Spain.”
Pedro Sanchez, Spanish prime minister and the leader of the Labour-type PSOE party, backed the court and said, “Today’s decision confirms the defeat of a movement.”
All these political prisoners should be released now. Mass protests and strikes are the only way to win that demand.