Rally in Barcelona to demand the release of jailed separatist leaders

Rally in Barcelona to demand the release of jailed separatist leaders

Rally in Barcelona to demand the release of jailed separatist leaders

Like thousands of others at the march, she wore a yellow ribbon to show solidarity with the jailed leaders, whom Catalan separatists consider to be "political prisoners".

The Guardia Urbana, a Catalan municipal police force, said 315,000 people turned out.

The demonstration was organized by two pro-independence groups, the National Catalan Assembly and Omnium Cultural.

The Spanish economy has remained mostly unaffected by the Catalan independence push, but it has unnerved investors and prompted hundreds of companies to move out of the region or review investment plans there.

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The regional chapters of Spain's two leading labor unions, along with other civil society groups, supported the protest, despite the complaints from some members who disagree with secession for Catalonia.

"But it is not a separatist protest".

Spanish justice authorities accuse the Catalan politicians of incitement to mutiny, and their leader Carles Pokdemon at home waiting for the court and probably a life sentence for the coup attempt in the country.

A German court ruled that he could not be extradited to Spain on rebellion charges but is still considering an extradition on charges of corruption. Both men face rebellion charges which could lead to jail terms of 30 years. They are among the nine separatists leaders imprisoned.

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The movements at the wealthy region has plunged Spain in years.

Separatist lawmakers defied court orders and held an ad-hoc referendum on independence in October. Jordi Sanchez was among those elected in the December elections in Catalonia which saw a renewed, if slight, majority for the separatists. The poll surveyed 1,200 people and had a margin of error of 2.8 percent.

If a new leader in Catalonia is not elected by May 22, new regional elections will be held.

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