Sunday 22 September 2019

Catalonia's leader claims region 'has won the right to' independence

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont. Photo: Reuters
Catalan President Carles Puigdemont. Photo: Reuters Newsdesk Newsdesk

Catalonia has won the right to become an independent state with the referendum results due in a few days, the region's leader Carles Puigdemont said.

peaking on television from Barcelona after polling stations had closed, Mr Puigdemont said "today the Spanish state wrote another shameful page in its history with Catalonia".

Spanish riot police smashed their way into polling stations across Catalonia to try and stop Sunday's referendum on independence, sometimes beating and kicking voters.

Spain's top court had suspended the vote but local authorities went ahead anyway.

At least 844 people and 33 police were reported injured in the raids.

Mr Puigdemont said: "I will make a direct appeal to the European Union" to look into alleged human rights violations by the Spanish government on Sunday.

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