THE exiled former president of Catalonia has condemned the burning and shooting of an effigy in his image as part of a La Quema de Judas (the burning of the Judas) festival in southern Spain.

Draped in a pro-independence estelada flag with a large yellow ribbon attached to a suit, the effigy was paraded through the streets of Coripe, Seville, before being shot at from point-blank range using bullets supplied by the local police.

Puigdemont, who went into self-imposed exile in Belgium after his government declared independence from Spain following the October 2017 independence referendum, said the event was supported by the local Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSEO) officials.

"It has not been any anecdote, nor work of a minority. It has been an official activity, protected by the local socialist authorities, " the former Catalan president said on Twitter.

READ MORE: Exiled Catalan indepencence leader Carles Puigdemont to run for European seat

Puigdemont said he normally respects "the signs of irony and sarcasm" because he understands that "they are part of the freedom of expression". He said the simulated assassination, however, contradicted “democratic decency".

Puigdemont described the event as "a message of hatred" in which "children participate, who have witnessed as normal the orgy of violence unleashed against what I represent".

"It is an unworthy act, unworthy of any civilized society," he added.

The burning of the Judas ceremony is a not an uncommon event at Easter in Orthodox and Catholic cultures. In Coripe, the event has been adapted to target a public figure who has “harmed Spain” in the past year.

Catalan president Quim Torra expressed his “extreme disgust” at the mock execution, which he described as an “intolerable” act.

He also announced that the Catalan government would file a lawsuit against the town’s mayor.

READ MORE: Catalan trial observers warn of 'artificial' police narrative

Journalist Josep Goded described those participating in the ceremony as “criminals”.

“A group of people – In my opinion, criminals who should immediately be punished by pertinent authorities – has simulated today the assassination of Catalan President Puigdemont in Coripe, Seville, Spain,” he tweeted.

Puigdemont expressed his gratitude for message of support, adding that the event only strengthened his resolve to achieve independence for Catalonia.

“Thanks to all the people who have expressed their support in these hours. In the personal order has been very unpleasant; In the political order it does nothing more than strengthen the convictions for which we are committed to building a republic of free women and men,” he said.

READ MORE: 'Independence referendum will happen', says Catalan prisoner