Quebec independence group upset Catalan exile was denied entry to Canada
Deposed leader of Catalonia's pro-independence party Carles Puigdemont speaks at a press conference in Finnish Parliament in Helsinki, Finland on Thursday March 22, 2018. (Martti Kainulainen/Lehtikuva via AP)
MONTREAL -- A Quebec nationalist group is claiming the Canadian government revoked a travel permit for the exiled former president of Spain's Catalonia region.
The Societé Saint-Jean-Baptiste says the Canadian government did not provide a reason for cancelling Catalan separatist Carles Puigdemont's travel permit on March 31, two days before he was to arrive in Quebec.
Puigdemont has hired a Montreal-based immigration lawyer and Monday filed a motion contesting the decision in Federal Court.
Puigdemont was scheduled to take part in an event organized by the nationalist group, which advocates for Quebec independence as well as for stronger laws to promote French in the province.
The former Catalan president fled Spain in 2017 to avoid prosecution after his regional government held an unauthorized referendum on independence. Puigdemont is currently in exile in Brussels and is considered a fugitive by the Spanish government.
He faces up to 25 years behind bars if found guilty of rebellion and misuse of public funds.
-- With files from The Associated Press