AP Interview: Catalans on hunger strike speak before trial

December 15, 2018 GMT

SANT JOAN DE VILATORRADA, Spain (AP) — Jailed Catalan separatist politicians on hunger strike for the past two weeks say their upcoming trial will be a platform to foster their cause for independence.

In rare interviews in a prison north of Barcelona, Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Turull, who has been in a medical ward since Friday, repeated calls for dialogue between Catalan and central authorities and rejected any depiction of the secessionist movement as a violent one.

Sanchez, an activist turned politician, told The Associated Press that their trial, set to begin early next year, will be “a unique moment to denounce the attitude of the kingdom of Spain contrary to the political and democratic rights in Catalonia.”

Spain says the case’s 22 defendants are being prosecuted for making an illegal attempt to secede.