A CATALAN independence supporter has claimed a “dirty war” is being fought after seven activists were detained without bail by Spain’s National Court.

The woman, known as Emma, wrote to The National after a demonstration in the Catalan province of Sabadell, attended by more than 12,000 people, called for their release. Four of the detainees are from the jurisdiction.

She said the Guardia Civil raids involving 500 officers, that led to nine arrests – two of whom where released after giving statements – were another attempt to criminalise and intimidate the independence movement, ahead of the verdicts in the Catalan indy trial.

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“The initial charges were terrorism, rebellion and possession of explosives, the latter was dropped after they realised they had only seized firecrackers from the local fiesta,” she said.

“But seven of them have been sent to jail without bail, accused of belonging to a terrorist organisation.”

During their time in custody, Emma said the prisoners had been denied access to their legal representatives, which was down to the Guardia Civil, prosecutors and the court itself.

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She said: “The constant leaks by Spanish judicial institutions and police denote a dirty war that has much more to do with a media pulse against independence than with a judicial process that is under way ... but the response of the population has been mobilisation and solidarity.”

The penal system and human rights observatory at the University of Barcelona was now looking at potential violations of procedures, said Emma, adding: “Fewer and fewer Catalans want to live in a country like Spain where power has been seized and maintained by force since the Franco dictatorship ... Please help us promoting democracy instead of more repression.”