IS it a crime to want to be independent from a country? Is preparing peaceful actions to protest against the abuses of a state comparable to terrorist actions?

The answer within a democratic framework would be “no”, but it turns out to be “yes” in Spain, a country that presumes to be a democracy. However, if this were the case, there would be no Catalan political prisoners and exiles for holding a self-determination referendum.

Spain is using all its energy to crush the independence movement. They started with politicians and social leaders, then they brutally assaulted peaceful voters and now dare attack the people with impunity. They arrest people at the crack of dawn and accuse them of terrorism.

READ MORE: Catalonia human rights abuses ‘should concern everyone’

Unfortunately, we live in a world in which many people have suffered terrorist attacks; it’s simply too unreasonable to compare a peaceful movement with terrorist actions. The Spanish press accuses and passes judgment before the judges themselves do, and these in turn judge even though they have no clear evidence –it is all a ruse to sentence prematurely, and a blatant media war.

One can only painfully and helplessly watch the videos of the Spanish police forcing their entry to the home of Catalan pro-independence supporters. Their hate and aggression are too obvious not to judge. In one of those arrests, a 10-year-old boy was forced to lie on the floor while he was pointed at with a long gun.

We must not accept any kind of violation of children’s rights. A European country is acting arbitrarily, and Europe is still looking the other way. Anyone who searches pictures or videos of the independence demonstrations carried out in Catalonia will ascertain that they are exemplary for their peaceful attitude. Don’t let them accuse us of being terrorists! Where are you Europe? Where are the human rights you speak so much about? When you finally intervene, it may be too late.

Lola Salmerón

I WAS pleased to read Douglas McKechnie’s painting Homage to Catalonia is to be auctioned in an aid of a project to assist young Palestinians to come to Glasgow to study music (Artworks aim to help young Palestinians, September 28). I wonder how many other papers covered this story, which hopefully helps to build bridges between Catalonia, Scotland and Palestine.

I believe the SNP called for recognition of Palestine in October 2014. Maybe they should do it again. I realise we can be preoccupied with our own struggles, but often they can pale into significance compared to those of others.

READ MORE: Scottish art auction to raise money for Palestinian musicians

I do realise it’s wise not to meddle in other countries’ internal affairs, but surely ignoring blatant injustices – eg ethnic cleansing, apartheid, colonisation, the right to return home, and the right to have full legal equality – is wrong. Some say it’s not independence Palestinians need, it’s basic FREEDOM.

Regularly we make complaints about our aspirations not being represented fairly in the British press and the BBC. The Palestinians’ far worse plight has for too long been widely ignored by Western democracies and the media.

Unlike the right-wing press of this country, The National is not influenced by the privileged, it’s not so complicit. The National can be a beacon of light and hope not just for ourselves but for others.

We demand accurate, factual information regarding Scotland. Others also deserve accurate reporting with integrity at its heart. Although it’s a small step, I do acknowledge the National’s crucial role with regards this and look forward to reading further enlightening articles about injustices around the world. And of course the money made in the auction!!

Robin MacLean
Fort Augustus

THE problem with “farming” salmon is that it prevents the fish from completing its natural anadromous lifecycle, which begins in fresh water, after which the salmon mature at sea and return to their native rivers to spawn (Campaign predicts poor results for Scottish salmon sector, September 27).

READ MORE: Campaign predicts poor results for Scottish salmon sector

The fish louse, Lepeiophthirus salmonis, is a natural seawater parasite which would normally die after a week in fresh water; experienced salmon anglers could tell how newly sea-run a salmon was by whether any of the parasites remained – usually around the animal’s vent. Like soldiers in the trenches of World War One, fish get lousy because they’re all packed in there together and in the salmon’s case as well as the soldiers’, not going anywhere, except of course...

I am entirely in favour of Scottish independence but surely we should be a bit more wary of this endless chanting of the mantra “jobs/jobs/jobs/the economy” and look more carefully at what may happen in the future if we make mistakes in exploiting our resources.

Alison McAdam
via email