İrem UZUN -TDO-Spain’s Supreme Court has jailed nine Catalan political leaders for up to 13 years after finding them guilty of sedition in connection with holding an unlawful referendum and a declaration of independence in October 2017. The region’s former vice-president Oriol Junqueras was convicted of sedition and misuse of public funds by Spain’s supreme court and sentenced to 13 years in prison. He was also banned from holding public office for 13 years. The former Catalan Foreign Minister Raül Romeva, the former Speaker of the Catalan Parliament Carme Forcadell and influential pro-indepence grassroots activists were the other leaders who sentenced. Following the sentencing, the Supreme Court issued a European arrest warrant for Catalonia's former president, Carles Puigdemont, who is living in self-imposed exile in Belgium.
Hundreds of students and civil servants soon began protesting in Barcelona, some blocking roads and gathering outside government buildings, officials at the Catalan road traffic agency said on Monday as people opposing the sentencing to jail of pro-independence leaders took to the streets. Several streets in Barcelona were also blocked by protests, including parts of Diagonal avenue, which crosses the whole city, local police said. There were also protests in several big Catalan municipalities, such as Girona and Lleida. Train tracks were briefly blocked outside Girona, a separatist stronghold, rail operator Rodalies said on Twitter.