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  • Protesters take part in a pro-independence demonstration asking for the release of jailed Catalan activists in Barcelona.

    Protesters take part in a pro-independence demonstration asking for the release of jailed Catalan activists in Barcelona. | Photo: Reuters

Catalans take to the street for the sixth time since its independence declaration was suspended by the Spanish government.

Thousands in Barcelona joined a march to demand the release of several former Catalan officials and independence activists who protesters describe as political prisoners. 

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The Catalan National Assembly and the Omnium Cultural called for a new demonstration to defend sovereignty and demand the freedom of their leaders Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart.

The protest will end with several speeches by political figures and the relatives of the leaders imprisoned, as well as musical performances.

"We see that our people are very mobilized, we are convinced that there is a general feeling of sadness and outrage at the situation of political prisoners," concluded ANC Vice President Agusti Alcoberro.

The protest comes on the day after pro-independence Catalan parliamentarian Carme Forcadell was freed on an almost US$175,000 bail. She was questioned for her participation in Catalonia’s independence move and faces charges of rebellion, sedition and embezzlement. 

Four other Parliament members have also been released on bail. 

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Eight former Catalan ministers, a pro-independence activist and a former elected official of the now-dissolved Catalan Parliament, are imprisoned indefinitely for sedition against the central government for their role in the independence bid.

While they are being investigated Spain's highest criminal court has denied bail for the eight.

Carles Puigdemont, former president of Catalonia, and four other former ministers are in Belgium awaiting a Brussels court decision on whether to extradite them back to Spain, where they are accused of sedition, rebellion and embezzlement.


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