The jailing of the seven pro-independence activists accused of terrorism is “baseless,” according to their defense, which is led by the Alerta Solidària lawyers group. The group’s spokesman, Xavier Pellicer, told the press on Friday that none of them pose a “flight risk,” nor is there any risk of them “tampering with evidence” to justify keeping them in custody.

“The Guardia Civil [Spain’s paramilitary police] have raided all the homes and places they wished to” he said, adding: “There is no flight risk because they are people settled in their land, with a family, children, partners, and they are members of civic organisations.” According to Pellicer, the defense has reason to believe that Spain’s police used “poor practice” during their arrests.

“They have suffered illegal cross-examinations, disorientation, lack of information, and have been treated poorly” he said. “We have clear evidence that they have been cross-examined in the early hours when they had spent 24 hours without sleeping” he added.

Condemn violence

Yet, the Spanish government spokeswoman, Isabel Celaá, urged president Quim Torra to clearly condemn “potential or possible violence.” “Faced with potential violence only one reaction is possible, which is to forcefully reject it. This country has suffered very painful situations of violence,” she said, in an indirect reference to the activities of the Basque terrorist group, ETA.

Celaá also dismissed Torra’s accusations that the state was trying to criminalise the independence movement, saying the “problem is when some people with this ideology try to get around the law.”

The leader of unionist Ciudadanos party (Cs), Lorena Roldán, insisted that there are millions of Catalans who are “afraid” of “radicalised separatists.” According to Roldán, since the arrests of the pro-independence activists for terrorism and possessing “explosives and listed objectives” people in Catalonia feel “threatened.”