MORE than 100 flights have been cancelled after violent clashes erupted between pro-Catalan independence protestors and police at Barcelona’s El Prat Airport.
It came after a Spanish court handed lengthy prison sentences to Catalunya’s former separatist leaders, sparking anger across much of the region and further afield.
Spain’s Supreme Court sentenced nine of those on trial to between nine and 13 years in prison for their role in the illegal independence referendum in 2017.
Following the court’s ruling a new arrest warrant was issued for former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who has been living in Belgium.
The court’s rulings prompted thousands of Catalunyans to take to the streets in protest at the length of the sentences.
In total 108 flights were cancelled as Barceclona’s main airport was taken over and at least 56 people were injured, with 10 hospitalised.
Barcelona’s police were filmed beating protestors, even those who remained peaceful.
Independence supporters also marched on the city centre, blocking streets and metro stations.
Puigdemont said: “Now more than ever it is time to react like never before.
“For the future of our sons and daughters. For democracy. For Europe. For Catalonia.”
In the UK the SNP also issued its support for Catalan separatists, insisting that the future must be ‘decided at the ballot box, not in the courts.’
A statement from the pro-independence party added: “All of us have a duty to speak up whenever the rights to democratic expression and civil rights are under attack.
“Our thoughts and solidarity are with those sentenced today and their families.”