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Spanish court in its ordered the detention of two key members of the Catalan independence movement as the rift between central government and separatist campaigners widens.
Leaders of two key Catalan separatist groups allegedly obstructed police investigations into this month’s referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain.
The referendum took place in the northeastern region on October 1st despite a suspension order from Spain’s Constitutional Court. Catalan authorities say voters overwhelmingly supported secession.
Madrid’s High Court ordered on Monday the detention without bail of Jordi Sanchez, head of the Catalan National Assembly, and Omnium leader Jordi Cuixart, while under investigation for alleged sedition.
Spanish authorities are investigating the roles of the 2 men in organizing pro-independence protests in Barcelona last month. Reuters says police officers investigating the referendum were trapped inside a Catalan regional government building during the protest.
Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont expressed his opposition to the detentions, tweeting that Spain jails Catalonia’s civil society leaders for organizing peaceful demonstrations.
Last week, Puigdemont delayed a formal declaration of independence and sought talks with Spain. The Spanish government ruled out such talks and gave Puigdemont until Thursday to back down.