Regional government says online crackdown poses threat to free speech and calls on European commission to intervene

The Catalan regional government has accused the Spanish authorities of behaving like Turkey, China and North Korea by blocking websites designed to help people vote in Sunday’s independence referendum.

Over the past week the Spanish government has stepped up its efforts to stop the unilateral vote by deploying thousands of extra police officers to Catalonia and taking control of the region’s finances.

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