In Series of Raids on Catalan Offices, Spanish Police Raid .CAT, Arresting and Now Releasing Director Masoliver

The Spanish government is getting heavy with Catalonians due to the upcoming referendum on independence, aiming to stop the referendum. Police raided numerous government offices among others Wednesday in the Spanish state of Catalan, one of those being Fundació puntCAT, the registry for .cat. As part of the raids police arrested Fundació puntCAT’s Director of Innovation and Information Systems Pep Masoliver on charges of embezzlement, trespass and disobedience. Masoliver was released Friday morning. Although the conditions of his release aren't yet known.

In a statement on the arrest Wednesday, Fundació puntCAT state they:
“are a private and non for profit foundation devoted to ensuring that Catalan – a persecuted and maltreated language – has its space in the digital world. We assist all our users with the greatest professionalism and we are a reference entity in Catalonia and in the world.

“The show that we have experienced in our offices this morning has been shameful and degrading, unworthy of a civilized country. We feel helpless in the face of these immensely disproportionate facts.

“We demand the immediate release of our colleague and friend.

“We will continue to work for our foundational objectives as well as for the defense of freedom of expression on the Internet.”

The raid and arrest has also been criticised by a fellow Spanish gTLD, .eus, aimed at the Basque language and culture. In a letter to ICANN, published by, the PuntuEUS Fundazioa CEO Josu Waliño writes:
“In recent days, we are experiencing an unprecedented situation with the raid of Spanish police in the offices of the PuntCAT Foundation, and the arrest of one of its workers.

“From the PuntuEUS Foundation, entity responsible for the .EUS domain management, we observe with great concern the measures being taken by the Spanish Government, since they represent a great violation of the freedom of the Internet and the domain system.

“As members of the Internet community, we wish to convey to ICANN our deep concern, and we request that on behalf of the Internet community publicly condemn these measures by upholding the values that govern ICANN and the Internet.”