"While Carles Puigdemont is imprisoned, we have to remain in a state of democratic emergency," said the Catalan Parliament President Laura Borras.
On Friday, hundreds of citizens gathered in front of the Italian Consulate in Barcelona to protest against the arrest of former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who remains detained in Sardinia because of an arrest warrant issued for the crime of "sedition".
"While Carles Puigdemont is imprisoned, we have to remain in a state of democratic emergency. Free Puigdemont, No Surrender !," said the Catalan Parliament President Laura Borras, who was in the protests accompanied by other pro-independence authorities.
“The strongest condemnation of judicial repression and persecution. This must stop. Amnesty is the only way. Self-determination is the only solution. By your side, President Carlos Puigdemont," said Pere Aragones, the President of Catalonia.
In 2018, the pro-independence leader was also arrested in Germany, which generated a massive concentration in Barcelona that led to incidents with the Police. On that occasion, however, the German authorities did not hand Puigdemont over to Spain.
Although Puigdemont was elected MEP in 2019, he was arrested by the Italian authorities on Thursday. His lawyers announced they will file a lawsuit before the General Court of the European Union to have his paraliamentary immunity respected.
His arrest happens at a time when the parliamentary negotiation to approve the 2022 Spanish national budget begins. To achieve this, Spain’s President Pedro Sanchez may need the support of the Catalonian Republican Left party.
A week ago, the Spanish government held a meeting with a delegation from the Catalan government seeking to reduce tensions with the pro-independence movement, which demands an amnesty for all politicians and activists prosecuted by the Spanish State.