“This is an interesting moment, because it's a question of an illegal vote confronted by political intransigence.
“The government is obliged to ensure the rule of law and constitutionally obliged to protect the integrity of the country, but it is as a result looking authoritarian in the face of an independence movement that has been entirely peaceful (in comparison for instance to the Basque campaign).
“There is separation of powers, so the arrests are not ordered by the government or the PM but a judge, though it surely must have known about them.
“This is the second attempt at a referendum, a previous illegal vote was non-binding and mainly those in favour of independence voted so the results are not an indication of real political sentiment.”
Alison Ribeiro de Menezes, Professor of Hispanic Studies, Head of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Warwick
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