Monday, July 6, 2015

Under Spain’s gag law, covering the news could cost you

The so-called Citizen Security Law makes it illegal to disseminate pictures, video and other content deemed “damaging” to Spain’s police and security forces. Coinciding with a wave of demonstrations over austerity programs and bank bailouts, the law criminalizes demonstrations in front of some government agencies and public buildings, and includes stiff fines for documenting the police response.

...for domestic media—Spanish TV, radio, magazines and newspapers, and also foreigners based here full time—it’s now part of the legal framework. It will also restrict protests by political organizations and NGOs, and press coverage of those actions. The day before the law took effect, activists from Greenpeace’s Spain chapter climbed a crane towering over the Spanish Parliament and hung a banner opposing the law. Video of the protest, which aired on the website of national newspaper El Mundo on Monday, includes a brief confrontation between a police officer and a Greenpeace member holding a sign. In theory, both that protest and shooting a video of it are illegal in Spain as of today.


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