SCOTTISH campaigners have voiced concern at Spain’s decision to ban official international observers from next week’s Catalan Parliament elections.

The Catalan Defence Committee’s Glasgow group is calling on all politicians in Scotland, whether for or against Catalan independence, to use their voice and help defend democracy in Catalonia.

SNP MSP Christina McKelvie, responding to the plea, said the refusal to allow international observers was “a further, desperate attempt to suppress democracy”.

The Holyrood member for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse said: “The democratic right to free, fair and non-interfering universal suffrage is absolute.

“In the face of this continued and sustained oppression from the Spanish government, the Catalan people are to be commended for their peaceful fortitude.

“Let these elections be open, transparent, free from fear and fair so that no matter the result, respect, tolerance and above all peace will return to the region.”

The group also attacked the “silence” of European political leaders over the ongoing repression in Catalonia.

It said: “The European Union’s silence over the attack on democracy in Catalonia has been a disgrace.”