09/20/2017 12:21 EDT | Updated 09/20/2017 13:02 EDT

Quebec opposition says government must denounce Spanish crackdown on Catalonia

Quebec's opposition is demanding the government publicly denounce the intensifying crackdown in Spain against the Catalan independence movement.

Parti Quebecois leader Jean-Francois Lisee, a Quebec separatist, said today the provincial government must ask the Spanish people to respect democracy and allow the Catalan people to vote.

The Spanish government has increased its suppression of the independence vote that included the arrests of a dozen regional officials today and the seizure of 10 million ballot papers.

Regional government officials, including Catalonia's president, so far have vowed to ignore a constitutional Court order to suspend the Oct. 1 referendum on Catalan independence from Spain.

Quebec's international relations minister says the government won't get involved in the affairs of another country.

Lisee says Quebec has been historically close to the Catalan people.

Quebec and the Catalan government signed a co-operation agreement in 1996 that extends into many areas including culture and education.

— With files from The Associated Press