As of 16th October 2017, A Spanish judge has jailed two key members of the Catalan independence movement. As the BBC news reports:

Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cuixart, who lead prominent separatist groups, are being held without bail while they are under investigation for sedition.

Indeed, Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cuixart are respectively the leaders of Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Òmnium Cultural, the main organizations supporting the independence of Catalonia.

As the report says:

They are being investigated over a protest on 20 September in which a crowd blocked Civil Guard officers inside a building in Barcelona, Catalonia's regional capital.

For this, the judge has decided to jail them immediately without a bail under the accusation of sedition: Spanish prosecutor seeks sedition charges for leaders of Catalan protests. In this news we can read The crime carries a charge of up to 15 years in prison and it describes the context of the accusation:

At least 40,000 demonstrators descended on the Catalan department of economy as it was raided on Wednesday, blocking agents inside from leaving for up to nine hours until the judge who had ordered the operation made a midnight phone call to the head of the Catalan police.

Just for the sake of context: Human Rights Watch reported Spain: Police Used Excessive Force in Catalonia a few days later.

I found some news (like La sentencia del Supremo que esgrime la Fiscalía condenó por sedición el bloqueo de un desahucio, in Spanish) talking about a case in 1976 where some neighbours from Huesca were accused of this crime, but the sentence was later on reduced.

For this, I wonder: has anybody been found guilty of sedition since the Constitution of Spain was approved in 1978? What was the prison sentence for them?

  • Would rebellion count? Because from the law(Spanish link), sedition is a lesser form of rebellion. In any case, from reading the law, the 15 year maximum time is appliable only to authorities and neither Jordi Sánchez and Jordi Cuixart count as "authorities"; the actual maximum they could face is 10 years.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 12:51
  • @SJuan76 yes! Rebellion would also work. In fact, I thought rebellion was less than sedition. In ¿Qué son los delitos de sedición y rebelión? I see they mention these thresholds you commented, and also indicate that rebellion (sedition + violence) would imply up to 25 years.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 13:13
  • 1
    condenado in this context would more typically be translated convicted. Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 15:41
  • 2
    IMO sedition sounds absurd to be an actual reason for conviction in a democratic country.
    – Communisty
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 7:14
  • @Communisty agreed. Over 200K people demonstrated yesterday in Barcelona against the decision: Catalonia: Protests after Spain detains separatists. It is also worth explaining that the Civil Guard was not prevented from doing their job and these two people are shown in videos asking people to let the police leave the building.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 7:17

1 Answer 1


The only thing I've found is that some aerial controllers were accused of sedition during the massive strike of 2014. In the article is hinted that the accusation of sedition has been rarely been made in Spain since it's democratic, but it doesn't provide any more insight. I've been unable to find how many people have been accused of sedition, nor the resolution of the cases.

ADDITION: In both cases (aerial controllers and the rebellion of the attempted coup d'êtat of 1981), the accusation was based on militar laws, not the civil code. So far I've been unable to find a case of someone accused of sedition based on common penal code.

  • Was about to answer but you beat to me, I only want to add that if rebellion is included as a variation of sedition, then the most famous instance would be that of the people who took part in the failed coup d'état of February 23, 1982 and who were found guilty of "military rebellion".
    – SJuan76
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 16:10
  • @SJuan76 that is a good one. Just a clarification: it was in 1981.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 18:52

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