Hundreds Injured as Spanish Police Beat Up Referendum Voters in Catalonia

Anti-independence protesters on the streets of Barcelona a day ahead of Catalonia's referendum
Credit
Getty Images

Catalonia is one of the country's most affluent regions, contributing a fifth of Spain's economy and separatist Catalans complain of contributing too much to the state while not getting enough in return.

The number of ballots did not include those confiscated by Spanish police, during violent raids, resulting in hundreds of people being injured, said Turull.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says the region has won the right to statehood following Sunday's contentious referendum which was marred by violence.

Spain's deputy prime minister said force used by the police had been proportionate.

Ninety percent of more than 2.26 million participants of the referendum in Catalonia voted in favor of region's independence.

But it is unclear how numerous region's 5.3 million eligible voters were able to cast ballots, how their votes would be counted and how many votes had been confiscated by police.

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Videos of Spanish police striking people with batons and firing rubber bullets have surfaced on social media and the Catalonian government has said 465 people have been injured, some seriously.

Catalonia faced a massive security response from Spanish officials as it tried to hold a long-awaited independence referendum on Sunday.

"All the repression falls absolutely on the side of the government of Rajoy and the police forces that have been brought in for this goal", Romeva said, according to La Vanguardia. As stated by the government of Catalonia for independence from Spain voted 90% of the electorate. Their goal was to be able to enter and vote in the referendum.

Barcelona's mayor Ada Colau said earlier that she wanted "an immediate end to police charges against the defenceless population". Madrid considers this referendum illegal, whereas Barcelona's authorities said ahead of the vote they would consider the referendum lawful. It already has its own language (Catalan), and some Catalans would like complete control - a state fully independent from Spain.

BBC reports as many as 761 people have been hurt, after national police employed force to stop voters from participating in what Spain's constitutional court deemed an illegal vote.

The Spanish government has sealed off a number of polling stations in Catalonia in order to prevent voters from taking part in the referendum.

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