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  • According to Spain

    According to Spain's National Police, the yellow jerseys were deemed threatening to the Spanish government, King Felipe VI and his ministers. | Photo: Reuters

Published 21 April 2018

"Spain is becoming an authoritarian state where simple colors are being chased," journalist Jaume Clotet posted on Twitter.

Police in Spain targeted pro-Catalonia soccer fans by commandeering their signs and 'esteladas' (yellow jerseys) worn in support of Catalan political prisoners ahead of the Copa del Rey on Saturday.

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Outside the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid, police forced dozens of fans to surrender their yellow shirts. On social media, viral videos show banners saying 'Freedom for political prisoners' and yellow scarves being ripped from the hands of pro-Catalonia supporters.

According to Spain's National Police, the yellow jerseys were deemed threatening to the Spanish government, King Felipe VI and his ministers, who attended the final match between Sevilla and FC Barcelona.

A Twitter post from the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), one of the main organizers of the demonstration, said: "The Spanish government also decides how to dress in the final: the Spanish police search for the T-shirts of the ANC and 'esteladas,' their new crusade!"

Journalist Jaume Clotet tweeted: "Yellow is the color used by the Catalan political prisoners campaign. Spain is becoming an authoritarian state where simple colors are being chased."

The yellow-jersey movement was organized by social activist groups, including Manifest Blaugrana, Omnium and ANC. 

Carles Puigdemont, former leader of the Catalan government; five elected officials, including Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Raul Romeva, Dolors Bassa and Carme Forcadell, and seven more exiles are still being detained.

Since the arrests, thousands of Catalans have organized protests and roadblocks to demand the release of their elected leaders.  

Political leaders and soccer fans are not the only ones targeted by Spain. Several artists, including rappers Valtonyc and Pablo Hasel, were recently jailed for writing lyrics against the Spanish monarchy, Franco's legacy, and two protesters were convicted for burning an image of the king.

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