Barcelona Issues Statement Following Civil Guard's Arrests Of Catalan Officials
Barcelona released a statement "following what took place in Catalonia, where Spain's Civil Guard on Wednesday detained 14 Catalan officials" involved in organizing an independence vote, according to MUNDO DEPORTIVO. The club said in the statement that it "condemns any action that impedes the exercising of rights like democracy, freedom of expression and the right to decide." The statement said, "Barcelona publicly expresses its support to all people, entities and institutions that work to guarantee these rights" (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 9/20). The BBC reported thousands of Catalans "took to the streets in protest and the regional leader complained of a power grab" following the arrests of the Catalan officials. Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy said that the state "had been forced to act." Catalonia's separatist government "is defying a Constitutional Court order" to halt the planned Oct. 1 vote, "which has been condemned by the Madrid government as illegal." Wednesday's operation targeting more than 20 ministries and institutions "was a dramatic intensification" of Spain's attempt to stop the vote from taking place (BBC, 9/20).