Catalonia demands ALL Spanish police leave region and calls for mediation
CATALONIA has demanded all Spanish national police leave the region following the independence referendum yesterday which left 850 people injured.
First Minister Carles Puigdemont said the result of the landslide referendum is binding, despite Madrid insisting the vote was illegal.
Mr Puigdemont said he “does not plan an abrupt split with Spain” and called for “a new understanding”.
He asked for international help with mediation in the region.
He said he had heard nothing from Madrid and urged the Spanish Prime Minsiter to say whether he is in favour of arbitration.
The Catalonian leader also announced the creation of a 'special commission' to investigate claims of abuse of basic rights, adding legal action would be taken "against those responsible for violence during Sunday's referendum".
A statement from the United Nations human rights cheif urged Spanish authorities to "ensure thorough, independent and impartial investigations into all acts of violence" related to the Catalonia vote.
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the response by Spanish police "must at all times be proportionate and necessary".
He added the situation must be resolved "through political dialogue with full respect for democratic freedoms".
Thousands of national police were deployed to the region by the Spanish government to and received criticism for the heavy-handed tactics used to close polling stations and prevent would-be voters from casting their ballot.
Hundreds of people were injured as police in riot gear used batons and reportedly fired rubber bullets in clashes with voters and protestors.
Catalan officials announced shortly after midnight on Sunday that 2,262,424 ballot papers had been counted.
They said 2,020,144 of these were "yes" votes and just 176,565 were "no" votes.
The Spanish constitutional court had previously banned the referendum and Madrid has called the vote “illegal”.
Speaking after the vote, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said: “There has not been an independence referendum in Catalonia today.”