Catalans go on strike over referendum violent crackdown

Rajoy says rule of law prevailed in Catalonia by blocking referendum

"With this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form of a republic", Puigdemont said in a televised address.

According to preliminary results, just 42% of eligible electors (or 2.2 million people) voted, of which 90% voted for independence. Some taped up their mouths to symbolise being silenced.

The Catalan leader also announced that he was setting up a commission to investigate Sunday's violence and was taking legal action against national police.

Sunday's plebiscite was organised under the threat of reprisals and criminal charges but thousands of Catalans stood in defiance of the central government in Madrid.

Spain's Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said Madrid would "take all necessary measures" to stop the "intolerable harassment" of national security forces.

Mr Puigdemont has called on the worldwide community to help mediate between the two sides.

Felipe placed the blame for the tension firmly in the hands of the Catalan regional authorities said they "in a repeated, conscious and deliberate manner, have been breaking the Constitution and their Autonomous Status".

Nawaz Sharif re elected head of ruling PML-N
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Sheikh Rasheed-led Awami Muslim League have also made a decision to challenge the law. The ousted Prime Minister was addressing PML-N's Central General Council after being elected head of the party for four years.

"We are to declare independence 48 hours after all the official results are counted", he said in an interview with the BBC.

The European Commission statement said "violence can never be an instrument in politics". For more, we speak with Sebastiaan Faber, professor of Hispanic studies at Oberlin College and author of the forthcoming book "Memory Battles of the Spanish Civil War: History, Fiction, Photography".

The movement's leaders had hoped the police crackdown might cause European leaders to take steps to intervene in the dispute with Spain's government.

Two demonstrators, one wearing a Spanish flag and the other a Catalan independence flag, walk in Barcelona.

The Catalan club played behind closed doors at the Nou Camp on Sunday, beating Las Palmas 3-0 in La Liga, as a protest against Spain using force to prevent voters taking part in a banned referendum to decide the region's fate.

Puigdemont, who held the vote in defiance of a court order, urged Rajoy to say whether he was in favor of mediation, which he said should be overseen by the European Union.

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