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Barcelona criticizes Spanish Supreme Court’s decision

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By the Associated Press

BARCELONA, Spain — Barcelona has criticized the Spanish Supreme Court’s conviction of 12 Catalan politicians and activists for their role in a 2017 secession attempt, saying “prison is not the solution.”

Protestors crowd a street in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. Spain's Supreme Court on Monday convicted 12 former Catalan politicians and activists for their roles in a secession bid in 2017, a ruling that immediately inflamed independence supporters in the wealthy northeastern region. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti / MANILA BULLETIN)

Protestors crowd a street in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. Spain’s Supreme Court on Monday convicted 12 former Catalan politicians and activists for their roles in a secession bid in 2017, a ruling that immediately inflamed independence supporters in the wealthy northeastern region. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a statement, the soccer club says the resolution of the independence debate in Catalonia must come “exclusively from political dialogue.”

It called on “political leaders to lead a process of dialogue and negotiation,” and pave the way for the prisoners’ release.

Barcelona is one of Catalonia’s most cherished institutions, with Catalan independence flags a regular feature at home games.

For years, separatists unfurled a massive banner reading “Catalonia is not Spain” at the Camp Nou.

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