FORMER Catalan president Carles Puigdemont said those seeking independence for the region needed to continue doing so in a “non-violent and civilised” way as he remains in custody in Germany.
Puigdemont, who is currently being held in Neumünster prison following his arrest on Sunday 25 March, added pro-independence groups had to go on defending their rights.
He was speaking to Diether Dehm, an MP from the German leftist Due Linke party who visited him at the prison, according to reports.
“As a message I would like to say that we have to go on. We have to go on the way we are, defending our rights, rights that are recognised by the UN as we have a total right to decide our future,” he said.
Puigdemont added supporters of Catalan independence should not let down their guard in the face of the Spanish state which he said was becoming more “authoritarian”.
The ex-Catalan leader has been awaiting a decision from German authorities over whether to accept an extradition request from Spain. Judges have 60 days to decide to accept or reject it.
If he is returned to the country he is likely to face trial. If found guilty he could go to prison for up to 30 years after being charged with rebellion, sedition and misusing public funds for the independence referendum held last October.
Hundreds of protestors gathered in Berlin to demand the release of Puigdemont and to demonstrate against his treatment at the hands of the authorities.