Barcelona criticizes Spanish Supreme Court's decision

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- Barcelona has criticized the Spanish Supreme Court's conviction of 12 Catalan politicians and activists for their role in a 2017 secession attempt, saying ''prison is not the solution.''

In a statement, the soccer club says the resolution of the independence debate in Catalonia must come ''exclusively from political dialogue.''

It called on ''political leaders to lead a process of dialogue and negotiation,'' and pave the way for the prisoners' release.

Barcelona is one of Catalonia's most cherished institutions, with Catalan independence flags a regular feature at home games.

For years, separatists unfurled a massive banner reading ''Catalonia is not Spain'' at the Camp Nou.

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