International

FC Barcelona criticises jail sentences for Catalan separatist leaders

2019-10-14 13:01
Gerard Pique (Supplied)

Barcelona - Spanish champions FC Barcelona on Monday criticised the jail sentences handed nine Catalan separatist leaders over their role in a failed 2017 independence bid, saying "political dialogue" was needed instead.

"In the same way that the preventative prison sentence didn't help to resolve the conflict, neither will the prison sentence given today, because prison is not the solution," the club said in a statement shortly after Spain's Supreme Court issued its long-awaited verdicts.

"The resolution of the conflict in Catalonia must come exclusively from political dialogue," it added.

"Therefore, now more than ever, the club asks all policy makers to lead a process of dialogue and negotiation to resolve this conflict, which should also allow the release of convicted civic and political leaders."

The Supreme Court sentenced the nine Catalan separatist leaders, most of them members of the former Catalan government, to prison terms of between nine and 13 years for sedition for their role in a failed 2017 independence bid which included a secession referendum that was banned by Madrid.

Some of them have been in pre-trial detention for close to two years.

Barcelona's Camp Nou stadium is a cauldron of separatist fervour but the club has long been careful to avoid openly supporting independence.

Instead it argues Catalans have the right to decide and it vocally criticised attempts by Spain's central government to prevent the independence referendum from going ahead on October 1, 2017. 

After police raided Catalan government offices and arrested officials in the run up to the referendum in a bid to stop the vote, the club issued a statement condemning "any act that may impede the free exercise" of democracy and freedom of speech.

Read more on:    barcelona  |  la liga  |  gerard pique  |  soccer

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

After Stuart Baxter stepped down as Bafana Bafana head coach, who would you like to see take over?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.