Roads blocked in Catalonia in protest at leader's detention

German police have said that they have arrested Catalonia's former president Carles Puigdemont

Transportation authorities in the northeastern Spanish region said a main motorway through eastern Spain remained blocked by protesters in Figueres, near the border with France. Demonstrators also stopped traffic in another highway leading to the city of Lleida, and a national road between Tarragona and Valencia. The filmmakers, Anna Giralt Gris and Ross Domoney, offer us beautifully observed images of the crisis as it unfolded, along with snatches of the public dialogue that took place on the streets of Barcelona, at protests, in train stations, and hair salons.

Catalonia's independence movement remains stalled, six months after millions of Catalans defied legal threats and physical violence from the Spanish state to take part in a referendum on secession organized by the regional government.

The separatist leader was arrested on Sunday morning by German police acting on a European arrest warrant issued by Spain.

Puigdemont was ousted and fled to Belgium.

His arrest came five months after he went on the run as Spanish prosecutors sought to charge him with sedition and rebellion in the wake of Catalonia's failed independence bid in October.


Puigdemont was arrested in Germany on Sunday under a European arrest warrant issued by Spain after he crossed the border by vehicle from Denmark on his way back to Belgium from Finland.

"I proposed to Mr. Puigdemont and he immediately agreed to give his word of honor to not leave Germany as long as German justice is judging on this extradition request", Lucke said, adding that would be a "statesmanlike and appropriate manner" in which to treat the former regional president. A court in Schleswig will decide on formal pre-extradition custody and whether his extradition is admissible.

He and 12 other separatist leaders were officially charged with rebellion.

"This is not just a Spanish question", Mendez de Vigo told reporters at the end of a Spanish Cabinet meeting.

A group of lawyers and human rights experts lodged the case in March, claiming that Spain has violated human, civil and political rights in its crackdown on Catalonia's independence bid.

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