Spain shuts down Cata­lan in­de­pen­dence sites

Warwick Daily News - - WORLD | NEWS -

CATA­LAN au­thor­i­ties have ac­cused the Span­ish gov­ern­ment of block­ing web­sites aimed to spread in­for­ma­tion about the re­gion’s in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum.

The move is part of a crack­down on the Cata­lan in­de­pen­dence move­ment to pre­vent the vote.

De­spite the na­tional gov­ern­ment’s con­fis­ca­tion of bal­lot pa­pers and de­ploy­ment of ex­tra po­lice to Cat­alo­nia, sep­a­ratists hope the ref­er­en­dum will go ahead to­mor­row to de­cide whether the au­ton­o­mous re­gion of north-eastern Spain should de­clare it­self an in­de­pen­dent coun­try.

The Span­ish gov­ern­ment in­sists the ref­er­en­dum is il­le­gal and is tak­ing ac­tion to stop it, in­clud­ing stop­ping the spread of in­for­ma­tion seen to pro­mote the vote.

Ear­lier this week, po­lice sum­monsed 17 peo­ple for ques­tion­ing over the de­vel­op­ment of web plat­forms re­lated to the ref­er­en­dum. Po­lice told AFP the peo­ple were sus­pected of “dis­sem­i­nat­ing a web­site for peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate in a ref­er­en­dum de­clared il­le­gal”.

The .cat Foun­da­tion, which man­ages the reg­is­ter of do­mains end­ing in .cat, was forced by a court to block web­sites with in­for­ma­tion about the ref­er­en­dum, Politico re­ported.

A spokesman for the Cata­lan gov­ern­ment told the Guardian the move was deny­ing peo­ple the right to free­dom of in­for­ma­tion on­line.

“What they’re do­ing by block­ing do­main name servers is do­ing what Turkey does and what China does and what North Korea does,” he said.

“No Western democ­racy does that.” – INM

PHOTO: MARIA SUBIRANA/NEW ZULU

IN FAVOUR: Univer­sity stu­dents rally in Barcelona.

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