defending rights and civil liberties

Say No to the ‘Gag Law’

Rights International Spain has been warning of it since the preliminary draft of the Public Safety Law reform was presented: freedom of expression and assembly, which are crucial to the proper functioning of a democratic state under the rule of law, are in serious danger in Spain. The ongoing reform of the Public Safety Law, also referred to as the “Anti-protest Law” or “Gag Law”, aims to prevent citizens from exercising their legitimate right to peaceful protest by penalizing acts that are clear examples of peaceful and responsible exercise of their fundamental rights to participate in public affairs, to freedom of assembly and to freedom of expression.

It is an unjustified and unnecessary legislative reform that prevents citizen participation in public spaces and is contrary to human rights standards. Once the law comes into force, public spaces will no longer be spaces for political participation, since there will be fines for certain peaceful protests, such as demonstrations held in front of the Parliament (with fines of up to €30,000) or peaceful occupation of a building. It is also alarming the possibility opened by the draft law of imposing fines in case of spontaneous peaceful protests.

If approved, the Gag Law will also impose fines of up to €30,000 for “unauthorized use of images or personal or professional data of the authorities or law enforcement officers“, which not only violates freedom of information, but may also lead to impunity in cases of excessive use of force by the police, considering that images are very often the main evidence in proceedings against these abuses.

The adoption of the Gag Law will represent a serious setback for human rights and Spanish society will no longer be able to exercise freedoms that are key components of democracy.

For this reason, Rights International Spain has been carrying out numerous actions, campaigns and producing materials (you can find them on the menu on the right) so that anyone can use this information to learn more about it, raise awareness among others and get the chance to take action. We have also resorted to international mechanisms for the protection of human rights, urging them to remind Spanish authorities of their binding obligations in accordance with international human rights law.

We will not tolerate being left #WithoutJustice. It is up to all of us to stop it.