Thou­sands protest to free Cata­lan lead­ers

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE WORLD -

Hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple back­ing Cat­alo­nia’s bid to se­cede from Spain packed the streets in down­town Barcelona Satur­day to de­mand the re­lease of jailed sep­a­ratist lead­ers.

The rally’s or­ga­niz­ers called for 10 prom­i­nent mem­bers of the se­ces­sion­ist move­ment to be freed from pri­son.

Eight for­mer mem­bers of Cat­alo­nia’s dis­solved cabi­net and two ac­tivists are in jail while Span­ish au­thor­i­ties in­ves­ti­gate their al­leged roles in pro­mot­ing a dec­la­ra­tion of in­de­pen­dence last month in vi­o­la­tion of Spain’s Con­sti­tu­tion.

“We want to tell the world that we want free­dom for our pris­on­ers and free­dom for Cat­alo­nia,” Agusti Al­coberro, the vice pres­i­dent of grass-roots group Na­tional Cata­lan As­sem­bly, told the crowd.

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