Almost 200 People Detained Since Start Of Protests In Catalonia - Interior Ministry

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th October, 2019) Almost 200 people were detained since the beginning of violent pro-independence protests in Catalonia, Spanish Acting Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said on Sunday.

Since the beginning of the week, Catalonia has been marred in public unrest. Mass demonstrations were sparked by the ruling of the Spanish Supreme Court to sentence nine Catalan politicians, involved in organizing the 2017 independence referendum, to 9-13 years in prison on sedition charges and the other three to fines over disobedience.

"As for this week's numbers: 288 officers were injured, 194 people were detained [18 of them are currently in pre-trial detention], 267 police vehicles were damaged," Grande-Marlaska said.

On Friday, what started as a general strike in Barcelona soon grew into public unrest and violent riots. Protesters were blocking roads by barricades, setting these barricades on fire, ripping off the street signs, breaking the windows of nearby stores and eventually clashed with law enforcement near the National Police building. They threw bricks, bottles, crackers and other objects onto the police and burned carton boxes. Police had to fire rubber bullets and tear gas to constrain them, as well as use water cannons to fight the fire.