Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

Thursday, 23 april 2015 | New York Times

English

Spain’s Ominous Gag Law


International New York Times
 
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD  APRIL 22, 2015
 

On April 10, a group called No Somos Delito or We Are Not a Crime, projected a hologram of protesting marchers filing in front of the Parliament building in Madrid. For the time being, virtual protests in the form of holograms are not illegal in Spain. Incredibly, however, almost every other kind of peaceful protest soon will be if a new law goes into effect as scheduled on July 1.

The law on public security — dubbed the “ley mordaza” or “gag law” — would define public protest by actual persons in front of Parliament and other government buildings as a “disturbance of public safety” punishable by a fine of 30,000 euros. People who join in spontaneous protests near utilities, transportation hubs, nuclear power plants or similar facilities would risk a jaw-dropping fine of €600,000. The “unauthorized use” of images of law enforcement authorities or police — presumably aimed at photojournalists or ordinary citizens with cameras taking pictures of cops or soldiers — would also draw a €30,000 fine, making it hard to document abuses.

The law was introduced in 2013 by the government of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, whose conservative party enjoys a majority in both houses of Parliament. The lower house approved the law in December, and, despite pleas from rights groups and the United Nations, the Senate approved it last month.

The law’s main purpose, it appears, is to help the ruling party maintain its hold on power by discouraging the anti-austerity protests that have snowballed into widespread support for the populist Podemos party. Podemos looks set to make major gains in elections this year.

The European Commission should act swiftly to condemn the new law. Maina Kiai, the special rapporteur at the United Nations on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly, has urged Spanish lawmakers to reject the measure, arguing: “The rights to peaceful protest and to collectively express an opinion are fundamental to the existence of a free and democratic society.” Spain’s new gag law disturbingly harkens back to the dark days of the Franco regime. It has no place in a democratic nation, where Spaniards, as citizens of the European Union, have more than a virtual right to peaceful, collective protest.

[Foto: EFE (ARA, 22-04-15)]




Very bad Bad Good Very good Excellent (2 vòtes)
carregant Loading




Lectures 2721 visits   Send post Send


Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia

Col·lectiu Emma is a network of Catalans and non-Catalans living in different countries who have made it their job to track and review news reports about Catalonia in the international media. Our goal is to ensure that the world's public opinion gets a fair picture of the country's reality today and in history.

We aim to be recognized as a trustworthy source of information and ideas about Catalonia from a Catalan point of view.
[More info]

quadre Traductor


quadre Newsletter

If you wish to receive our headlines by email, please subscribe.

E-mail

 
legal terms
In accordance with Law 34/2002, dated 11 July, regarding information services and electronic commerce and Law 15/1999, dated 13 December, regarding the protection of personal data, we inform you that if you don’t wish to receive our newsletter anymore, you can unsubscribe from our database by filling out this form:








quadre Hosted by

      Xarxa Digital Catalana

Col·lectiu Emma - Explaining Catalonia