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Spanish judge orders closure of Tsunami Democràtic websites

The movement, which has no visible leaders, has been coordinating this week’s protests in Catalonia. The magistrate took the action as part of an ongoing sealed investigation into terrorism

Protestors share QR codes to activate the Tsunami Democràtic application.
Protestors share QR codes to activate the Tsunami Democràtic application.

A judge from Spain’s High Court, the Audiencia Nacional, on Friday ordered the Civil Guard to close down webpages and social media accounts belonging to Tsunami Democràtic, a movement with no visible leaders that has been coordinating the protests this week in Catalonia in the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that sentenced pro-independence leaders to jail terms.

The Tsunami Democràtic platform counted on 338,000 followers on its main channel in messaging service Telegram

Judge Manuel García-Castellón ordered the closures as part of an ongoing sealed investigation into terrorism, according to judicial sources. The Tsunami Democràtic platform counted on 338,000 followers on its main channel in messaging service Telegram.

Instructions sent from Tsunami Democràtic have been closely followed by demonstrators this week, sending, for example, 25,000 people to El Prat airport in Barcelona on Monday, where protests caused widespread disruption including the cancellation of more than 100 flights and skirmishes with the police.

García-Castllón is in charge of a judicial probe nicknamed Operation Judas, which is investigating terrorism allegations against members of the so-called Committees to Defend the Republic (CDR), a group that has carried out a number of disruptive actions in recent years to further the pro-independence cause. But judicial sources confirmed that the order for the closure of the Tsunami Democràtic websites and accounts is not related to this operation, which saw a number of arrests on September 23.

The Civil Guard managed to close down some of the websites that were hosted in Spain, but others immediately sprung up on foreign servers. “We can only block access from Spain, if the domains are outside of Spain we cannot block them immediately,” said sources from the public prosecutor.

The Civil Guard managed to close down some of the websites that were hosted in Spain, but others immediately sprung up on foreign servers

Tsunami Democràtic was activated on September 2 with the public support of the Catalan regional premier Quim Torra, his deputy premier Pere Aragonès, and the speaker of the regional parliament, Roger Torrent. Its leaders are currently unknown, but the police believe that it was conceived during a meeting in Switzerland between the former Catalan premier Carles Puigdemont, Torra, representatives of Catalan nationalist parties, and pro-independence civic associations ANC and Òmnium Cultural.

English version by Simon Hunter.

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