Published On: Tue, Oct 15th, 2019

Barcelona Airport news: EU silent as hundreds of thousands protest in Barcelona | World | News

Flights were disrupted and metro and train services were suspended at El Prat airport due to separatist protests. Police were pictured in full riot gear using tear gas to break up the crowds. The protests came after Spain’s Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan separatist leaders to between nine and 13 years in prison for sedition over their role in a failed independence bid.

The head of the regional parliament Roger Torrent said after the sentencing: “This sentence is an attack on democracy and the rights of all citizens.

“Today we are all convicted, not just 12 people.”

Some protesters blocked train and metro access to the Barcelona airport and others temporarily blocked traffic on the A2 highway.

In Barcelona, three main streets were also blocked by protesters holding signs calling for “Freedom for political prisoners” and a crowd chanted “We’ll do it again”.

This was a slogan used by separatist supporters who want to hold another referendum.

Oriol Junqueras, the then-Catalan vice president, was the highest-ranking official to face court, as he was found guilty of sedition and misuse of public funds.

He was sentenced to 13 years, the longest prison term among the accused — 13 years.

Mr Junqueras tweeted from prison after being sentenced.

He write: “We will be back stronger, more convinced and firmer than ever.

READ MORE: Barcelona airport under siege by thousands of protesters

Most of those who were convicted were arrested and sent to prison on remand after the carried out an illegal referendum on secession.

They also disobeyed court orders and declared independence on October 27, 2017.

Catalonia’s President at the time Carles Puigdemont fled the country to avoid detention after the declaration of independence.

The public prosecutor on Monday said it has requested the judge issues a fresh European arrest warrant against him and other officials abroad.

Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez warned he will defend constitutional order by all legal means necessary.

His words come ahead of a repeat general election on November 10.

He said in a statement on Monday: “Today concludes an exemplary judicial process.”

Mr Sanchez added the ruling confirmed “the wreckage of a political movement that has failed in its attempt to obtain internal support and international recognition.”

He added the Catalan independence process “leaves behind only a sad balance of pain and confrontation” and “a fracture of coexistence in Catalonia”

Mr Sanchez also said his government will respond with “proportionality to any violation of the law.”

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