Spain: Thousands call for release of Catalan leaders after three months in prison

Thousands demanded the freedom of imprisoned pro-independence Catalan leaders in front of the High Court of Justice of Catalonia, in Barcelona, on Tuesday.

According to police reports, around 17,000 people took to the streets. Demonstrators switched on the torches on their mobile phones and held a minute silence in solidarity with the pro-independence leaders Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, who have been in prison for the past three months.

Former President of Catalan National Assembly (ANC) Jordi Sanchez and the former President of Omnium Cultural Jordi Cuixart were sent to jail on October 16 by a High Court judge. The investigation into the pair stems from a September 20 protest in which a massive crowd blocked Spanish Civil Guard officers inside a government building in Barcelona. The judge ruled the two must remain in prison without bail.

SOT, Agusti Alcoberro, Vice President at Catalan National Assembly (Catalan): "The condition of the political prisoner is a condition that dirties and demeans the state that placed them in prison. But also it is a condition that makes us act with dignity, all free men and women and us, we have had to compromise since that day and have maintained it to this day. We wouldn't normalise the existence of political prisoners."

SOT, Marcel Mauri, Omnium Cultural's vice president (Catalan): "We are still standing and asking for their freedom and demonstrating that we won't ever normalise the repression and the Spanish government's use of abuse to ruin the results of the democratic will of the majority of the Catalan population, that was demonstrated at the polls."

SOT, Conchita, protester (Catalan): "We are here today to create force and will to free the political prisoners that have been in jail for the last three months without any reason. It's a great injustice, that is the reason we are here, to free them now."

SOT, Agusti, protester (Catalan): "I think that Carles Puigdemont can't be elected as president because we aren't a democratic country, that is it."

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