THOUSANDS of people have taken part in a series of events outside the Catalan prison from where pro-independence leaders are expected to be transferred to institution in Madrid in the next few days as their trial date approaches.

They have become known as Catalonia’s political prisoners, individuals who are facing charges of sedition and rebellion for their roles in the October 2017 independence referendum.

Crowds have gathered outside Lledoners jail, north of Barcelona, every night since they were sent there from their initial detention in Madrid, singing and playing music to remind them that they had not been forgotten.

At noon yesterday hundreds of singers took part in a concert to show their support.

Anna Rosés, who sings with the long-established folk band Orfeó Català, said: “We hope they return soon, but freed, and not inside prisons, we hope they are given justice.”

Around 80 traditional giant figures usually seen in local parades joined an earlier gathering, along with a group of bikers.

Anonymous activist Joan BonaNit was also there as he has been for the 200 previous nights, wishing the prisoners “bona nit” (good night) through a loudhailer.

Nine of the pro-independence figures, including former vice president Oriol Junqueras, former ministers and civic leaders are in Lledoners, while two female politicians are in a separate jail.

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Meanwhile, the grassroots Catalan National Assembly (ANC) has released an online video as part of the 1-O (October 1) trial campaign, which aims to inspire protests across Europe.

The campaign – Make a Move. Self-determination is a right, not a crime – urges people across Europe to support that right.

In its first day online, more than 60,000 people viewed the video.

ANC president, Elisenda Paluzie, said: “Self-determination is a right as deserving of international solidarity as many others.”

The grassroots organisation says Spanish authorities are trying to criminalise this right by taking legal action and keeping the independence figures in preventative detention.

Billboards in support of the campaign will be set up across European cities – including London, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Rome and Geneva.

The ANC will also organise demonstrations in European cities from the first day of the trial, working with various other groups it has connections with, such as Westminster’s All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Catalonia.

The accused had asked for five international observers to attend the trials and a group of human rights experts has asked Spain’s Supreme Court to allow them access. Called International Trial Watch: Catalan Referendum Case, the group is aiming to study the trials to produce final reports on the legal guarantees and rights, which will include potential violations of the right of assembly and demonstration, along with freedom of speech and political participation.

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