18:43 GMT +317 October 2019
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    People hold Catalan separatist flags, known as Esteladas, during a gathering to protest against legal challenges made by Spain's government against pro-independence Catalan politicians, in Barcelona, Spain, November 13, 2016.

    Thousands of People Rally Against Prosecution of Catalan Lawmakers in Barcelona

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    Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Barcelona rallying against the legal prosecution of Catalan administration and to support the independence of the autonomous region from Spain.

    MADRID (Sputnik) — According to Spokesperson of the Government of Catalonia Francesc Homs, the protest is "dedicated to Mariano Rajoy and the people who think that democracy should obey the law. The voice of the Catalan people is impossible to drown out".

    President of the Catalan National Assembly Jordi Sanchez said that Catalonia would not ignore the detention orders or the criminal proceedings against the politicians elected by the Catalans.

    Court proceedings were initiated against the former President of the Generalitat of Catalonia Artur Mas, Speaker of the Parliament of Catalonia Carme Forcadell, lawmakers Francesc Homs, Irene Rigau and Joana Ortega. The politicians are facing charges for not obeying the orders of the Constitutional Court of Spain, which repeatedly established violations of constitution, particularly, the involvement in the organization of the Catalan self-determination referendum.

    On November 9, 2014, about 80 percent of the Catalans who took part in the non-binding referendum on the region's status as part of Spain voted in favor of Catalonia becoming a state. Madrid declared the referendum unconstitutional.

    Catalonia has long sought independence from Spain, but the Spanish government has repeatedly declined to grant the region independence, saying it would violate the country’s constitution.

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    protests, Francesc Homs, Catalonia, Barcelona
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