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Catalonia protesters demand release of their leaders, Spain goes toward destruction of province

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Staff Writer | October 18, 2017
Tens of thousands of people protested Tuesday night in Barcelona against the Spanish government's detention of two Catalan separatist leaders.
Catalonia protesters
Europe   The two political prisoners
The demonstrators carried candles and banners demanding the release of Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, who are being held on possible sedition charges.

Prosecutors accuse Cuixart of the Omnium Cultural movement and Sanchez of the Catalan National Assembly of provoking violence against police during a pro-independence march last month.

Catalan leaders have called the two political prisoners, which the government denies.

Spain will seek to suspend Catalonia's autonomy unless the region's leader abandons his push for independence, the country's deputy prime minister said Wednesday, 24 hours before Madrid's deadline.

If separatist leader Carles Puigdemont does not provide a satisfactory response by 0800 GMT Thursday, "Puigdemont will provoke the application of article 155 of the constitution," Soraya Saenz de Santamaria told parliament.