BARCELONA: Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Barcelona today (15th of April) to protest the jailing of nine Catalan separatist leaders facing trial on “rebellion” charges.
Chanting “Freedom for the political prisoners”, they marched along Parallel Avenue, a main thoroughfare, many waving the red-and-yellow Catalan flag.
The protest comes six months after the first incarcerations of top Catalan separatist leaders for misuse of public funds, sedition and rebellion – which carries a prison sentence of 30 years and implies that a “violent uprising” took place – over their separatist push. “Since they could not decapitate separatism, they are trying to do it through the courts,” Roser Urgelles, a 59-year-old teacher held.
“They need to demonstrate that there was violence to execute the sentences that they want, so they invent it,” Roser Urgelles said, adding: “But we will continue to protest peacefully.”
Like thousands of others at the march, she wore a yellow ribbon to show solidarity with the jailed leaders, whom Catalan separatists consider to be “political prisoners”.
Spain’s justice minister, Rafael Catala, has called the use of yellow ribbons “insulting”, arguing that Spain has no political prisoners but “politicians in prison”. The Guardia Urbana, a Catalan municipal police force, said 315,000 people turned out.
Romanian president and government clash over moving embassy to Jerusalem!
BUCHAREST: A row erupted today between Romania’s government and President Klaus Iohannis over a proposal to move the country’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The foreign ministry announced that “a process of analysis and evaluation with the aim of transferring the embassy has been launched”.
Prime Minister Viorica Dancila of the left-wing Social Democratic Party confirmed Friday the government had adopted a memorandum on moving the embassy but added that other steps needed to be taken before a final decision.
In December US President Donald Trump sparked global controversy by announcing that his country would move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Romania would be the first EU country to follow suit.
Basque separatist group ETA apologizes for ‘harm’ it has caused
MADRID: The Basque militant group ETA apologized here today for the “pain” and the “harm” that it caused during its decades-long fight for an independent state, and appealed to its victims for forgiveness.
“We have caused a lot of pain, and irreparable harm. We want to show our respect to the dead, to the wounded and to the victims of the actions of ETA. We sincerely regret it”. ETA said in a statement released in the Basque newspaper Gara.
It came just days before the expected announcement of the dissolution of ETA, which waged a nearly four-decade fight for independence that killed at least 829 people before it announced a permanent ceasefire in 2011.
Man jailed for life after deliberately infecting men with HIV
BRIGHTON: A man who deliberately tried to infect 10 men with HIV was given a life sentence on yesterday (18th of April).
Daryll Rowe, a 27-year-old hairdresser from Brighton showed no emotion as he was told that he must serve at least 12 years for the determined, hateful campaign of sly violence during a sentencing hearing at the city’s crown court.
“As long as he has strength in his body, he will be a risk,” Rowe’s 10th victim, who was not infected, said after the hearing.
The judge, Christine Henson QC, told Rowe he would “with the full knowledge of the risk you posed to others and you potentially remain a danger to others for the rest of your life”.
After being diagnosed in April 2015 in Edinburgh, Rowe met men through a gay dating app. He had sex with eight of them in Brighton, in East Sussex, between October that year and February 2016, before fleeing to north-east England, where he targeted two more men.
His six-week trial heard that he refused treatment and ignored advice from doctors. He insisted on having unprotected sex with the men he met, claiming that he was “clean”.
When they refused, he tampered with condoms, tricking them into thinking that he was practicing safe sex. Afterward, Rowe became aggressive and taunted some of his victims in text messages
The judge told him: “Many of those men were young men in their 20s at the time they had the misfortune to meet you.
“Given the facts of this case and your permissive, predatory behavior, I cannot see when you would no longer be a danger to gay men. In my judgment, the offenses, taken together, are so serious that a life sentence is justified.”