Many international media outlets have reported on the arrests of nine Catalan pro-independence activists this morning. The operation, ordered by the National Audience in Madrid, saw the Civil Guard acting on allegations of terrorism and rebellion.
The Financial Times reports that today's "move comes ahead of next month's controversial sentencing" of the pro-independence leaders on trial in the Supreme Court. They note that tensions have "partly diminished" since the referendum two years ago, but suggest that "the verdict in the case is set to raise the temperature again".
The paper also notes that the groups who were allegedly "planning violent acts [...] are more radical" than the pro-independence Catalan government or the leaders facing sentencing in Madrid.
Spanish authorities detain nine Catalan separatists https://t.co/x72SR3drFX— FT World News (@ftworldnews) September 23, 2019
The BBC says those arrested are "suspected of planning a series of violent attacks for the anniversary of a divisive referendum". Like some Spanish newspapers, they say the nine are members of so-called "Technical Response Teams", which would be "the most militant arm of the Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDRs)".
Spanish police say they've arrested nine Catalan separatists suspected of planning violent attacks https://t.co/l4Xa7F7FLC— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 23, 2019
The Guardian says they are "linked to network calling for civil disobedience". They say this network "has previously blocked major roads and railway lines but its principal tactic to date has been passive resistance rather than outright confrontation." They report that president Torra "said Spain was trying to construct a violent narrative ahead of the sentencing date for the Catalan politicians, several of whom are accused of rebellion, a charge that will only stick if it can be proved that they used violence."
Spanish police arrest Catalan separatists on suspicion of terrorism https://t.co/szGhDPuCVR— The Guardian (@guardian) September 23, 2019
Major news agencies have also reported on the case. Reuters, for example, says that the independence movement "has been a major challenge for [Spain] for years, triggering its biggest political crisis in decades with a short-lived independence declaration in 2017".
Spain prosecutor says arrested in Catalonia face charges of... https://t.co/IjJEGbgUED— APPG on Catalonia (@APPGCatalonia) September 23, 2019
Associated Press, meanwhile, say that if the accusations are proven true, "it would be a considerable blow to Catalonia’s mainstream independence movement, which is proud of its overwhelmingly peaceful approach". The AP story was published by, among others, ABC News and the Miami Herald.
In Germany, Der Spiegel writes that the nine "are said to be among the most radical supporters of independence". They also note that "proponents of Catalan independence have so far protested peacefully."
1) El diari alemany @SPIEGELONLINE informa sobre les detencions, les fonts son "La Vanguardia" i "El País", q remeteixen a fonts anònimes. Recalca q l'independentisme no ha estat mai violent i q els CDR actúen d manera contundent però pacífica" 🔽https://t.co/AXvDbMZVri— Xavier F. Domènech (@xavidomenech99) September 23, 2019
In Belgium, French-language media like public broadcaster RTBF and L'Avenir have also published a story filed by news agency Belga.
Neuf indépendantistes catalans arrêtés pour préparation d'actes violents présumés https://t.co/FpOCwRH011— RTBF info (@RTBFinfo) September 23, 2019
Others to have published articles on the matter are EUobserver and L'Indépendant, a southern France newspaper based in Perpignan.
[Ticker] 10 arrests over possible Catalonia anniversary attacks https://t.co/QoQKQz7Rw4— EUobserver (@euobs) September 23, 2019