MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Catalan government spokesman Jordi Turull on Thursday accused the Spanish authorities of waging a "convert siege" against the autonomous region after the Catalan parliament passed a bill on holding an independence referendum.
"We have to defend our fundamental rights, human rights, such as freedom of expression or right to political initiative, in a convert state of siege," Turull said, as quoted by the Vanguardia newspaper.
"Federalism is by definition a pact. We consider that it is necessary to move from the current disagreement to a fair and open dialogue and exchange of ideas in which all parties are represented," the document read.
Earlier in the day, Spanish State Prosecutor Jose Manuel Maza said that the Prosecutor General’s Office had requested that the country’s security forces investigate actions linked to the preparation of an independence referendum in the region of Catalonia. The Prosecutor General’s Office also intends to file lawsuits against a number of Catalan parliamentarians over the adopted bill on Catalonia's independence referendum.
Catalonia has been seeking independence from Spain for years. On November 9, 2014, about 80 percent of the Catalans who took part in a non-binding referendum on the region's status as part of Spain voted in favor of Catalonia becoming an independent state. However, the independence vote was ruled unconstitutional by Madrid.