Marchers protest against detention of Catalan separatists

Pro-independence supporters attend a demonstration in Barcelona Spain

The Barcelona police said some 300,000 people participated in the protest.

The rally marked six months of detention for pro-independence activists Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sanchez, who face charges of rebellion leading to a jail term of 30 years.

The presidents of the National Catalan Assembly (ANC) and Omnium Cultural, a Catalan cultural association that presses for Catalonia's self-determination, are among the separatists awaiting trial.

Police said 350,000 people attended the rally with hundreds of buses bringing people in from other areas.

Sunday's mass demonstration, which was called by the two main Catalan pro-independence groups and backed by the regional branches of Spain's two biggest unions, took place under the slogan "For rights and freedoms, for democracy and cohesion, we want you home!"

"The majority of Catalans, no matter the position, agree jail is not justified", " even said a marriage leader, " Camil Ros.

"But it is not a separatist protest". Spanish and German prosecutors met last week at the headquarters of Eurojust in The Hague.

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Alex de Ferrer, a 50-year-old IT specialist, said he'planned to take part in the protest because jailing separatist leaders "only serves to manufacture separatists".

The movements at the wealthy region has plunged Spain in years.

The Supreme Court of Spain prosecuted them for the crimes of rebellion and / or embezzlement of public funds for their role in holding a referendum on self-determination, which led to a unilateral declaration of independence on 27 October.

Separatist lawmakers defied court orders and held an ad-hoc referendum on independence in October.

They had the support of trade unions, parents and actors associations and youth groups. The poll surveyed 1,200 people and had a margin of error of 2.8 percent.

In a letter sent from prison, former Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras said that immediately forming a government was "a necessity" so that Catalonia could regain its political autonomy.

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