Barcelona Add Voice to Condemnation of Prison Sentences for Catalan Leaders

?Barcelona have come out in support of the Catalan leaders who were jailed for their roles in an independence referendum in 2017.

Nine Catalan separatists were jailed for between nine and 13 years for the manner in which they attempted to gain independence from Spain, amid accusations of illegal financial dealings and causing social unrest.

?Barcelona, based in the capital of the municipality, took to their ?official website to condemn the court ruling, insisting that prison sentences should not be used as a way of avoiding dialogue about the independence movement.

They wrote: “FC Barcelona, as one of the leading entities in Catalonia, and in accordance with its historical record, for the defence of freedom of expression and the right to decide, today, after the condemnatory ruling issued by the Supreme Court in relation to the open process against the Catalan civic and political leaders, states that:

“In the same way that the preventive prison sentence didn’t help to resolve the conflict, neither will the prison sentence given today, because prison is not the solution.

“The resolution of the conflict in Catalonia must come exclusively from political dialogue.

“Therefore, now more than ever, the club asks all political leaders to lead a process of dialogue and negotiation to resolve this conflict, which should also allow for the release of convicted civic and political leaders.

“FC Barcelona also expresses all its support and solidarity to the families of those who are deprived of their freedom.”

Ernesto Valverde

Things have also been complicated for Barcelona on the pitch this season. An underwhelming start to the campaign, which has included losses to both Athletic Bilbao and Granada, placed manager Ernesto Valverde under immense pressure, although normality has almost been restored after a run of three consecutive wins.

The latest victory – a 4-0 win over Sevilla – carried the Blaugrana up to second in ?La Liga, and they sit just two points behind fierce rivals ?Real Madrid, whom they are set to face in El Clasico on 26th October.

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