Pro-Puigdemont Demonstrators Block Roads In Spain

Spain has recently issued a raft of European arrest warrants against individuals who are accused of illegally declaring Catalonian independence in the culmination of a still ongoing constitutional crisis over the status of the autonomous province.

The protestors are calling for the release of the former regional president and other Catalan leaders in preventative detention in Madrid.

Puigdemont will remain in German custody while the court reviews the extradition request.

Spanish authorities accuse Puigdemont of rebellion and misuse of public funds in organising an unauthorised referendum a year ago on independence for Catalonia.

Puigdemont was detained by German police on Sunday at a highway rest stop near the Danish border, as he drove from Finland to Belgium, where he has been living since fleeing from Spain. A spokeswoman for the German prosecutor's office said it would "probably not come this week" ahead of the four-day Easter holiday. A ruling on extradition must normally be made within 60 days under German law.

At least 90 individuals have been injured, including 20 security officers who fired warning shots in an attempt to disperse the angry protesting crowds.

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Her spokesman insisted on Monday that the decision on Puigdemont's extradition rested exclusively in the hands of the German regional justice authorities.

In a new burst of activity in the matter on Friday, Spanish officials issued fresh charges against several separatist leaders and renewed a European arrest warrant against Puigdemont, which had been withdrawn in December. Twelve more face less serious charges such as disobedience.

He was traveling from Denmark to Belgium, where he has been living in self-imposed exile since October previous year. That vote had been swiftly followed by the Catalan parliament's declaration of independence on October 27.

Speaking to reporters outside the prison in Neumuenster, where the separatist politician is jailed pending a German tribunal's decision, attorney Jaume Alonso-Cuevillas said Puigdemont remains energetic and "very clear in his courage and determination not to falter defending the ideals he represents".

Spanish cabinet's spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo said during a press conference that the United Nations will request Madrid to explain the situation with Puigdemont.

The UN Human Rights Committee said that Spain has six months to offer its arguments, while Puigdemont is to state which measures he would like to be taken in case his complaint is satisfied. "Spain does not guarantee a fair trial; only revenge and repression", she wrote on Twitter.

  • Stacy Houston