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Adams urges international support for democracy in Catalonia

1 October, 2017 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has praised the efforts of the Catalonian government and citizens to hold a peaceful referendum today on independence.

The Sinn Féin leader also condemned as “undemocratic and counter-productive“ the violence being used by the Spanish authorities against peaceful citizens.

He called on the international community, but in particular the European Union, to speak out against the coercion of the Spanish state and in support of the democratic rights of the Catalan people. 

Gerry Adams said; 

"I want to commend the enormous courage of the Catalan people in their efforts to hold a peaceful referendum on independence.

"The widespread scenes of violence being used by Spanish authorities today, including the use of plastic bullets, must be condemned. The European Union cannot stand aside and allow EU citizens to be denied their right to vote. 

"The violent response of the Spanish state to the referendum is undemocratic. 

"Old people are being physically assaulted as they try to enter polling stations, while the Spanish police has fired plastic bullets into crowds of innocent people simply because they want to exercise their right to vote.

"The use of coercion will ultimately prove counter-productive.

"I would urge the international community to speak out against Spanish efforts to violently prevent a democratic referendum. There is a particular onus on Spain’s European neighbours, including the Irish government, and the European Union to take a stand against the use of violence against those seeking to use their vote and in support of the democratic rights of the Catalan people.” 

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