05:28 GMT +307 December 2019
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    A man holds an Estelada (Catalan separatist flag) as people gather at Plaza Catalunya after voting ended for the banned independence referendum, in Barcelona, Spain

    Two Catalonian Leaders Behind Independence Movement Detained For Sedition

    © REUTERS / Susana Vera
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    Jordi Sanchez of the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Jordi Cuixart of Omnium Cultural have been ordered to jail without bail, according to a decision announced by Judge Carmen Lamela of Spain's National Court.

    Spanish prosecutors have called for the Catalonians to be tried under charges of sedition for their involvement in organizing the 40,000-person demonstration at the Catalan government's Economy Ministry September 20 as well as their efforts to plan Catalan's October 1 referendum to form an independent state in Europe. The Spanish government maintained the vote was against the law. 

    The Spanish government alleges  that the duo's involvement led to the destruction of three city vehicles, caused government employees to remain holed up in the ministry building for nine hours, and generally led to clashes between protesters and police officers. 

    During the referendum, 90.18 percent of Catalan voters cast ballots in favor of forming a separate state but the vote was not recognized by Spanish authorities. More than 2.28 million people turned out to vote in the referendum. 

    Spanish Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastsis said Monday that the Catalan government has until Thursday to clarify Catalonia's status as an independent state, since, "the letter that we have received does not correspond to the requirements" requested from Puigdemont. 

    Josep Llius Trapero, chief of Catalan's police, was allowed to walk free from jail Monday according to a ruling from the Spanish National Chamber of Justice. Trapero is not allowed to leave the country and must return to court every 15 days. Trapero has been investigated under suspicion of sedition as well. 

    The referendum vote was met with vicious backlash by police. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont called on the EU to pay attention to human rights violations committed by the Madrid government. "The European Union can no longer look away. The European Union should react before the abuse of a state which is behaving in an authoritarian manner," the Catalonian leader said.  

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    referendum, Carles Puigdemont, Alfonso Dastis, Catalonia, Spain
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