Spain rallies against new ‘gag law’

Spanish citizens protests new Citizen Safety law restricting right to demonstrate

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Protesters rallied in Madrid on Tuesday against a new Spanish law on demonstration rights - the Citizen Safety law - but referred to by protesters as the “gag law.”

According to the new law, non-authorised demonstrations near transportation centres and nuclear power plants will be fined up to 600,000 euros. The disturbance of “citizen security” near government buildings will also come with a 30,000 euro fine.

Disrespect to police officers will be charged with a 600 euro fine. The law will also fine the “unauthorised use of images” of police, which has been heavily criticised as a method to prevent people reporting any form of police abuse.

Nearly 2,000 protesters together with NGO representatives, lawyers and journalists came together in the streets of Madrid to oppose the new law which will be applicable as of Wednesday.

The Madrid Press Association released a statement saying "with the 'gag law' brought into force, the practice of journalism will be less free.”

A 21-year-old student, Juan sanchez, said that “they want all of us to be silent, for no one to protest."

Meanwhile, Greenpeace members pinned up a poster opposite the Spanish parliament building reading “Protesting is a Right.”

The new “gag law” was proposed by the conservative Popular Party (PP) to prevent the anti-austerity protests and to make “demonstrations more freer without the element of violence.”

Although the law has not been warmly welcomed by the opposition parties in the parliament, it was approved by the parliament in March.

TRTWorld and agencies