Spanish prosecutor files sedition lawsuit against protesters
Allegations accuse “unidentified individuals” of purposefully aiming to prevent Spanish police from raiding Catalan government buildings on Wednesday
A Spanish high court prosecutor has filed a sedition lawsuit demanding an investigation to identify the organizers of the street protests that took place in Barcelona on Wednesday. The prosecutor says that the protests aimed “to forcibly prevent” security forces from carrying out their duties, making those responsible for the protests guilty of sedition.
Spanish police raided over 40 Catalan government buildings in Barcelona and arrested more than a dozen officials in an operation aimed at preventing an independence referendum on October 1. The operation attracted large crowds protesting the police action. The crime of sedition includes all actions that impede the application of the law “through force or by illegal means”. The offence carries prison sentences of between four and 15 years.
Impeding police in the “legitimate performance of their duties”
The prosecutor’s allegations refer to protesters blocking the roads outside the buildings raided by the police, and accuse certain “unidentified individuals” of puncturing the tires of parked cars belonging to police “so as to impede the legitimate performance of their duties.” Without making specific accusations, the allegations also mention the Catalan National Assembly setting up a point for volunteers, and the head of Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Cuixart, calling for “permanent mobilization”.
The suit identifies the “ultimate aim” of the demonstrations as “the holding of a referendum to bring about the proclamation of an independent Catalan republic.” The prosecutor acknowledges that such an aim is only criminal if achieved through a “public and riotous uprising.” The crime of sedition comes under the jurisdiction of Spain’s special high court, the Audiencia Nacional.