Hundreds of thousands of Catalans have held a demonstration within Barcelona calling for the release through detention of separatist leaders.

Police said a lot more than 300, 000 people attended, even though organisers put the figure at about 750, 000.

Nine separatist politicians and activists have been held for their role in October’s referendum on independence from Spain — a vote ruled illegal with the courts.

The protesters also want an end to what these people see as the judicial persecution more who fled abroad and are wanted on extradition warrants.