Police entered Catalan government buildings on Wednesday to order the removal of political signs and yellow ribbons —a symbol protesting the imprisonment of Catalan independence leaders. The operation was ordered by the Electoral Board, which prompted a crackdown on pro-independence symbolism in the run-up to the December 21 election, with the argument that they could interfere with the vote.

In recent weeks, the Electoral Board ordered all shows of support at Barcelona’s sights using yellow color —such as fountains and public buildings’ façades— to be removed during the electoral campaign. According to the board, the law says that no administration can use images or expressions “coinciding or similar to the ones used by any candidacy running in the election in their campaigns.”

Four Catalan leaders remain in jail facing charges for their role in the independence roadmap: vice president Oriol Junqueras, minister Joaquim Forn, and civil society leaders Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sánchez. Six other ministers were held behind bars for over a month, but were released last week.

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