Huddled under umbrellas in the rainy German capital, the protesters walked from Brandenburg Gate to the justice ministry, carrying banners that read “Free Puigdemont and the Catalan political detainees” and “Spain is not a democracy”.
In an audio message from jail, Puigdemont addressed the protesters advising them “not to let their guard down in the face of a state which is acting in a significantly authoritarian method”.
It was their right to “pick their future”, he included.
Many of the protesters likewise waved Catalonia’s blue, yellow and red separatist flag as they took part in the rally arranged by the German branch of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), a grassroots pro-independence group.
” Exactly what we want to state is merely: totally free our chosen Catalan political leaders,” stated 34-year-old marketing worker Monica Zaldivar, who accused the Spanish federal government of utilizing the courts to pursue Catalan leaders rather of looking for a political option.
” For me, it has to do with democracy in Spain,” she stated.
One of the organisers, Ferran Cornella, told AFP he estimated the crowd to number “400 or 500” people, while cops offered a tally of over 300 demonstrators.
In Catalonia lots of members of the extreme Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDR) blocked a highway linking Catalonia with France putting up barriers at tolls, television images showed.
Puigdemont was apprehended by German highway cops last Sunday as he was travelling from Finland back to Belgium, where he has been residing in self-imposed exile given that Catalonia’s failed self-reliance quote last October.
The detention came two days after a Spanish judge issued European arrest warrants for Puigdemont and other fugitive separatist leaders.
They have actually been purchased to stand trial for rebellion, abuse of public funds and disobeying the state for organising in 2015’s referendum on Catalan self-reliance, which Madrid considered unlawful.
Puigdemont’s arrest has sent tensions soaring in the house, activating a wave of protests in the rich northeastern Spanish region.
German judges have actually purchased Puigdemont to stay in custody in the northern town of Neumuenster as they mull Spain’s ask for him to be turned over.
They have 60 days to make a choice.
German media state the demand has actually been complicated by the truth that rebellion, which carries a maximum charge of 30 years in jail in Spain, is not a crime under German law.
In a tweet on his official account Sunday, Puigdemont was quoted as stating that the October 1 self-reliance referendum, held exactly 6 months ago, marked “the start of a brand-new period from which there is no reversing”.
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