Catalonia Crisis: Protests as Ex-Ministers Held in Spanish Custody
Albanian Daily News
Published November 3, 2017
Thousands of Catalans have protested against the detention of eight regional ministers sacked over Catalonia's push for independence from Spain.
The officials - who appeared in Spain's high court - are accused of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.
Prosecutors are also seeking a European Arrest Warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who did not show up in court and is now in Belgium.
The request also covers four other ex-ministers who ignored the summons.
Spain has been gripped by a constitutional crisis since a referendum on independence from Spain was held in Catalonia on 1 October in defiance of a constitutional court ruling that had declared it illegal.
Last week, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy imposed direct rule on Catalonia, dissolving the regional parliament and calling local elections for 21 December.
This came after Catalan lawmakers voted to declare the independence of the affluent north-eastern region.
The Catalan government said that of the 43% of potential voters who took part in the referendum, 90% were in favour of independence.
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On Thursday, thousands of people gathered outside Catalonia's regional parliament in Barcelona.
Many carried Catalan flags and slogans that read "Freedom for political prisoners".
Similar protest rallies were held in other Catalan towns.
Political parties and civic groups in the affluent north-eastern region also condemned the judicial move.