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Wed 16 Oct 2019 10:12 AM

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UAE warns citizens to be careful amid escalating Barcelona protests

Thousands have taken to the streets after nine Catalan independence leaders were sentenced

UAE warns citizens to be careful amid escalating Barcelona protests
Police walk past burning bins during a protest against the jailing of Catalan separatists on October 15, 2019 in Barcelona.

The UAE’s consulate in the Spanish city of Barcelona has warned its citizens to exercise caution ahead of massive protests that are expected to take place in the coming days.

In a Twitter post, the consulate advised Emiratis to try avoid areas in which the demonstrations are expected to take place, and to contact the consulate general or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the event of an emergency.

The protests began on Monday after Spain’s Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan independence leaders for sedition for their role in the region’s failed bid for independence. The main defendant, former Catalan vice president Oriel Junqueras, was sentenced to 13 years in prison. The region’s leader, Carles Puigdemont, has fled Spain.

Large-scale protests erupted across Catalonia following the verdict, leading to over 100 flights being cancelled and several others delayed.

A number of other governments – including the US and UK – have warned their citizens to be careful amid the protests.

“They [protests] may occur with little or no warning and even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can escalate and turn confrontational,” noted a warning from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). “You should exercise caution if you’re in the vicinity. Demonstrations may also cause some disruption and delays to transport services.”

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