MADRID: Thousands of protesters are taking to the streets of Catalan towns to protest the jailing of nine former members of the regional government following an appearance at Spain's National Court for questioning in a probe over Catalonia's push for independence.
Eight of the nine were jailed without a possibility of bail while they are investigated on possible charges of sedition, rebellion and embezzlement following the regional parliament's declaration of secession from Spain last week. Bail of 50,000 euros was set for the ninth.
Protests were called for Thursday evening, and thousands were gathering in Catalan towns including Tarragona, Lleida, Girona and Barcelona, footage from local media showed.
The jailed politicians called through their lawyers and some through social media for all protests to be peaceful and for their supporters to avoid any show of violence. Mass protests in favor of independence in Catalonia have so far been peaceful.