Spain's acting Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, plans to travel to Barcelona on Monday to visit the law enforcement agents who were injured in the ongoing violent protests in the semi-autonomous Catalonia region
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 21st October, 2019) Spain's acting Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, plans to travel to Barcelona on Monday to visit the law enforcement agents who were injured in the ongoing violent protests in the semi-autonomous Catalonia region.
The protests in Catalonia have been underway since last Monday when the Spanish Supreme Court handed prison terms of up to 13 years to nine of the region's independence leaders. The demonstrations became violent, resulting in hundreds of people injured and detained. On Sunday, acting Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said 288 police officers had been injured in the clashes.
"Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will travel to Barcelona on [Monday] to visit the police officers who were injured during the violent protests these past days," the Spanish government said in a statement, adding that Sanchez will also meet with the region's security forces.
Additionally, Sanchez sent a letter to Quim Torra, the head of Catalonia, in which he reminded the region's leader of his official responsibilities.
"I must remind you of three duties that any public official must perform ... to condemn violence, to protect the security forces and to avoid social confrontation," Sanchez said in the letter.
On Saturday, Torra urged Spanish authorities to immediately engage in negotiations amid the violent protests. However, Sanchez responded by saying that Torra must first condemn the unrest in the region, which he had not yet done.
The violent protests in the region have drawn international attention. On Friday, amid a region-wide general strike, protesters blocked roads with barricades and set them on fire, ripped off street signs, broke storefront windows and clashed with law enforcement near the National Police building. They threw bricks, bottles, crackers and other objects at the police and burned carton boxes. Police were forced to fire rubber bullets and tear gas to constrain the crowd, as well as use water cannons to fight the fire.