Thursday 19 April 2018

Madrid orders Catalan police to crack down on officials organising poll

People throw ballot papers to the crowd in Barcelona, Spain (AP)
People throw ballot papers to the crowd in Barcelona, Spain (AP)

Spain's government has ordered Catalonia's regional police force to identify officials at local schools and other civic buildings expected to be used as polling stations in a controversial independence referendum.

Spanish authorities say the October 1 ballot on whether the Catalan region should secede from Spain is illegal.

They are cracking down on organisers by threatening them with prosecution.

The order places further pressure on the Catalan police, who were acting on instructions from central Spanish authorities against their fellow Catalans in the emotionally-charged stand-off.

The Spanish Interior Ministry in Madrid said on Tuesday the order to note down the personal details of officials was given to police by the top state prosecutor in Catalonia.

AP

Press Association

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