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30 Sep, 2017 14:53

Catalonian voters back independence despite violent police crackdown

More than 2.2 million people across Catalonia cast their ballots in Sunday’s referendum, with an overwhelming majority choosing independence, despite Spain’s opposition. Amid a violent crackdown by the Civil Guard, almost 900 people were injured.

  • 02 October 2017

    12:03 GMT

    Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau has tweeted saying that Catalonian authorities “demand an explanation about the violent actions of the police against a defenceless people.”

    In another tweet, she took aim at Spanish PM, Mariano Rajoy, saying that he “has hidden behind judges, prosecutors and police to avoid finding a political solution.”

  • 12:01 GMT

    The leader of Catalonia says the European Union should oversee mediation between the region and Spain. 

  • 11:37 GMT

    Puigdemont has said that Catalonia will establish a special commission to investigate claims of abuse by Spanish police on voting day after more than 800 people were injured

  • 11:27 GMT

    Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has called for an urgent dialogue between Catalonia and Spain. Gabriel said it was vital to prevent events spiralling out of control after Sunday’s violent police crackdown on voters.

    "The images that reached us yesterday from Spain show how important it is to interrupt the spiral of escalation," Gabriel said in a statement.

  • 11:22 GMT

    United Nations Human Rights chief Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad has urged Spanish authorities to “ensure thorough, independent and impartial investigations into all acts of violence, relating to Sunday’s referendum.”

    The response, he said, by Spanish police “must at all times be proportionate and necessary” and the situation must be resolved “through political dialogue with full respect for democratic freedoms.”

  • 11:20 GMT

    Catalonia’s regional leader, Carles Puigdemont, is demanding the removal of all Spanish national police from the region, according to Reuters.

    Spain’s Guardia Civil launched a forceful crackdown on voters and polling station administrators throughout Sunday.


  • 10:40 GMT

    Puigdemont said that Sunday’s result is binding. An estimated 90 percent of voters opted for Catalonian independence.

    The Catalonian leader also said he has had no contact with the Spanish government.

  • 10:31 GMT

    Former FC Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has condemned the violence against Sunday’s voters. The club legend also said that the closed door match between Barcelona and Las Palmas should have been called off.

    “In Catalonia they have injured a lot of people, people who only went to schools to vote,” Reuters reports, citing a Monday interview with RAC1. “The images are not deceptive. There were people who went to vote and they were violently attacked.”

    READ MORE: FC Barcelona plays in empty stadium as defiant Catalans go to polls despite crackdown

    “Barcelona against Las Palmas should never have been played, not at all,” the Catalan said.

  • 09:46 GMT

    The EU Commission has called on “all relevant players to now move very swiftly from confrontation to dialogue” in a statement released Monday, adding that “under the Spanish Constitution, yesterday's vote in Catalonia was not legal.”

    “Violence can never be an instrument in politics. We trust the leadership of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to manage this difficult process in full respect of the Spanish Constitution and of the fundamental rights of citizens enshrined therein,” the statement reads.

    Reuters reports that Jean Claude Juncker and Rajoy will talk Monday.


  • 09:16 GMT

    Spain could use its constitutional power to suspend Catalonian autonomy if it declares independence, Reuters reports Justice Minister Rafael Catala as saying.

    “The article 155 is there. We will use the entire force of the law,” Catala said during a TV interview on Monday. “Our obligation is to resolve problems and we'll do it, even though using certain measures might hurt. But, if someone declares independence, well we'd have to tell them that they can't.”