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Catalan activist returns from two-year exile in Belgium as charges dropped

Adrià Carrasco was originally accused of terrorism, rebellion, and sedition for blocking roads during pro-independence protests in 2018


11 January 2021 12:12 PM


ACN | Barcelona

Two and a half years after leaving Spain for Belgium following terrorism accusations, the activist Adrià Carrasco has returned to Catalonia after being cleared of all charges for taking part in pro-independence protest actions.

As a member of the Committees in Defense of the Republic (CDR), a decentralized network of pro-independence protest groups, Carrasco was prosecuted for blocking highways and sabotaging toll booths in the spring of 2018. 

He was accused of terrorism, rebellion, and sedition; some of the most serious offenses in Spain’s criminal code, carrying decades-long prison sentences.

Carrasco’s house was raided by Spain’s Guardia Civil police on April 10, 2018. He managed to escape through the window and fled to Brussels, where several pro-independence leaders had previously traveled alleging political persecution in Spain.

Originally prosecuted by Spain’s National Court in Madrid, Carrasco saw his case subsequently transferred to lower courts as the terrorism charges and the most serious accusations were dropped. Still, he had been wary of returning before all criminal charges were fully dismissed.

The case of Tamara Carrasco

Carrasco announced his return in a surprise appearance during a press conference held on Monday in front of the Catalan High Court, in Barcelona.

Adrià Carrasco was joined by Tamara Carrasco, another pro-independence activist as well as a CDR member. (Despite sharing the same surname, they are not related to each other.)

Tamara Carrasco was arrested in the same police operation that Adrià Carrasco managed to escape. She was confined for over a year to her hometown of Viladecans, in the outskirts of Barcelona, even after the original charges of terrorism were dropped.

Tamara Carrasco was cleared of all charges on October 6, 2020, after facing trial in a local Barcelona court.


  • Pro-independence activists Adrià Carrasco (left) and Tamara Carrasco (by Miquel Codolar)

  • Pro-independence activists Adrià Carrasco (left) and Tamara Carrasco (by Miquel Codolar)