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Catalan separatist leaders jailed by Spanish court for up to 13 years

Women hold a Catalan pro-independence "Estelada" flag in Barcelona on October 14
Protesters hold a Catalan "Estelada" flag and images of the jailed separatist leaders, Barcelona, Spain, Oct. 14. Photo: Lluis Gene/AFP via Getty Images

Spain's Supreme Court handed down prison sentences of 9–13 years Monday to 9 Catalan separatist leaders for sedition over their roles in the 2017 independence referendum, the BBC reports. 3 others were not sentenced after being found guilty of disobedience, per Al Jazeera.

Why it matters: Catalonia declared its independence from Spain following the vote, causing the Spanish government to impose direct rule and dissolve the autonomous Catalan government. The court's decision has triggered massive protests by pro-independence supporters in the Catalan capital, Barcelona, video posted by activists and journalists on the scene shows.

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