Kemal K., who holds both German and Turkish citizenship, was arrested in Ukraine in July after Turkey issued a so-called Red Notice (more on that later) with Interpol. Ankara says he's wanted for his alleged involvement in two murders in Turkey and had requested his extradition from Germany on several occasions. So far German authorities have turned down the request. This follows a similar incident involving German-Turkish author Dogan Akhanli, who was detained during his vacation in southern Spain in August at Turkey's behest. Last week Spanish authorities said they would not extradite him to Turkey. Common to both cases is the involvement of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) — a title that conjures up the image of a dimly-lit street, rain glistening off the cobbles and a man in a long overcoat, collar turned up, taking a furtive look and a last drag of his cigarette before melting into the shadows. Okay, so maybe I've watched too many spy … [Read more...] about Interpol: Who polices the world’s police?
Spain's Guardia Civil conducted raids on multiple Catalan government offices on Wednesday, in an intensifying crackdown on the regional government ahead of a planned referendum on independence which Madrid says is illegal. Police arrested at least 13 people from the regional government in Barcelona, including Josep Maria Jove, secretary general of economic affairs, and an aide to Catalan vice president Oriol Junqueras. The raids targeting the region's economic and foreign departments confiscated material for the planned October 1 referendum. Police are reported to have seized almost 10 million ballot papers. Spain's Interior Ministry said polling station signs and documents for voting officials were also found by police in a small warehouse outside Barcelona. Thousands of people have flocked to the Gran Via, a Barcelona high street near Jove's office, to protest the development, chanting "independence" and "we will vote." The Catalan National Assembly … [Read more...] about Spanish police raid Catalan government offices, arrest top official
The Madrid-based court preventatively suspended a second law relating to Catalonian independence on Tuesday, news agencies quoting unnamed Spanish court sources reported, adding another legal hurdle for separatists. Prosecutors in Catalonia also on Tuesday ordered police to seize ballot boxes, election fliers or other items that could be used in the banned referendum, news agency AFP reported. The court, Spain's highest authority on such matters, had already suspended the law and decree calling for a referendum on Catalonia's independence to be held on October 1. Election materials ordered seized The chiefs of the Guardia Civil and National Police forces, as well as the Mossos, a regional policing squad controlled by the Catalan government, were called to the Barcelona prosecutor's office. After the meeting, prosecutors said in a statement quoted by AFP that the police chiefs were ordered to take action against authorities, civil servants or individuals "to avoid offences being … [Read more...] about Catalan independence: Police told to seize ballot boxes
A day after federal police attacked voters during Catalonia's independence referendum, Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy has come out in defense of the police crackdown that left hundreds of voters hundreds injured. Catalonia's regional leader Carles Puigdemont described Sunday's violent scenes as "the biggest day of gratuitous violence that we've experienced in the past 40 years," referring to Spain's democratic era, which followed the four-decade dictatorship of Generalisimo Francisco Franco, who harshly repressed Catalans. "Not only can it not happen again, but it can't remain unpunished." Read more: Conflict over Catalonia far from over The regional cabinet will "demand the withdrawal of all police units deployed in Catalonia," Puigdemont said. He announced a committee of inquiry on police brutality. Sunday referendum, which Madrid had declared as "illegal," saw officers attack Catalan voters with batons, pepper spray and rubber bullets However, Rajoy reportedly defended the … [Read more...] about Catalan leader urges police withdrawal as Madrid defends crackdown
Spain's central government under the leadership of conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy apologized on Friday for the police violence against Catalans who voted in the contested October 2 independence referendum. Around 900 people were injured in the confrontations. The images of Guardia Civil officers, the national military police force, using pepper spray, batons and rubber bullets in an attempt to block participation in the vote that Madrid had previously declared illegal drew international attention. "When I see these images, and more so when I know people have been hit, pushed and even one person who was hospitalized, I can't help but regret it and apologize on behalf of the officers that intervened," Enric Millo, the central government's representative in the autonomous region of Catalonia, said in a television interview. Millo had said earlier that the police had been forced to use such brutal tactics and blamed Catalonia's pro-secessionist president … [Read more...] about Catalan police head appears in Madrid court for sedition allegations