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Spanish judge jails two Catalan independence leaders

The Catalan pro-independence leaders have been accused of sedition in the run-up of a referendum. The Spanish judge said they used social media as part of a "complex strategy" to push Catalonia towards independence.
Spanien - Separatisten Jordi Cuixart und Jordi Sanchez bleiben in Haft (Reuters/J. Barbancho)
A Spanish judge on Monday ordered two leaders of Catalonia's pro-independence movement remain in custody on possible charges of sedition.
Jordi Sanchez of the Catalan National Assembly and Jordi Cuixart (pictured above) of the pro-independence Omnium Cultural group allegedly urged supporters to block police from carrying out raids against Catalan leaders.

Spanish Judge Carmen Lamela found that the men used websites and social media to organize demonstrations, which formed part of a "complex strategy" to push the wealthy region towards independence from Spain.
On Twitter, the Omnium Cultural decried the leaders' detention, saying mobilization against Madrid will continue, "you cannot imprison a whole people."
Meanwhile, two senior police officers accused of sedition were released on condition they turn over their passports and agree to appear in court every two weeks. Spain's National Court launched an investigation into the four suspects' involvement in protests in Barcelona from September 20th to 21st.
Catalan police chief Josep Lluis Trapero also appeared in court on sedition charges, but walked free. He faced up to 15 years in jail for allegedly encouraging protests and failing to stop the referendum.
"The state is playing at provocation," Catalan government spokesman Jordi Turull said after the court ruling, as the two groups furiously called on the people of Catalonia to protest.
Escalating tensions
Tensions have escalated since Catalan officials advanced a referendum to determine whether Catalonia should pursue independence from Spain. However, before the controversial vote, Spain's Constitutional Court deemed the referendum illegal.

A week after the vote, Catalan leaders said roughly 90 percent of the ballots were in favor of Barcelona declaring independence for the region of Catalonia.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gave Catalan President Carles Puigdemont until Thursday to specify whether he declared independence for Catalonia after the Catalan leader failed to meet a Monday deadline to clarify the region's position.
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