4th June 2023
Mossos d'Esquadra squad car.
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Investigation of Mossos identifying people removing yellow ribbons

The Spanish prosecutor in Catalonia has enquired as to the ‘specific reasons’ why the Mossos d’Esquadra (the Catalan police) identified some 14 people, including an officer of the Spanish Guardia Civil police, who were removing yellow solidarity ribbons earlier this month in the Ebre region.

Consequently, the attorney opened an investigation against the Mossos d’Esquadra and the local police involved in the identifications.

Mossos squad car
Mossos squad car in August 2018 (Alex Freixas)

On 17 August a group of activists removing yellow ribbons, put up in favour of the pro-independence jailed political leaders, were identified by the police after a neighbour reported the events. The individuals were removing the items using box cutters, hoods, dark clothes, handkerchiefs and maps of several towns marked with some routes.

The Spanish prosecutor has also asked the Mossos’ leadership to explain the precise criteria in place for such cases and also to provide information about all similar actions taken in the future.

Controversial events over yellow signs

This is another episode in a long series of controversial events over yellow signs that have appeared in public spaces across Catalonia in support of the sixteen jailed and exiled pro-independence leaders.

ALSO READ: Political row over yellow ribbons

Political parties and civic associations in favor of a Catalan state promote these signs being worn and displayed in public spaces, whilst unionist parties such as Ciutadans (Cs) flatly reject them and even encourage people to remove them.

The ongoing controversy has led to incidents such as individuals in balaclavas  or driving a vehicle violently removing yellow installations. A fight this weekend in Barcelona over people removing yellow ribbons was related to political grounds, but this was denied by the individuals involved.

Few days after the Mossos’ identifications, the Spanish government said it would tackle the issue at the next security coordination meeting with the Catalan executive.

ALSO READ: Controversy over alleged attack for removing yellow ribbons

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