• Spain's news in English

Media groups urge Spain's future government to repeal 'gag law'

The Local · 6 Nov 2015, 15:40

Published: 06 Nov 2015 15:40 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The organisations led by the International Press Institute (IPI) also said Spain should restore the public broadcaster's independence and create an independent broadcast regulator.

They added that the EU country's next government should ensure that any legal reforms are done "with due regard to the danger of a chilling effect on freedom of expression."

The ten most repressive points of Spain's "gag law" 

The call was made in a report issued Thursday by the Vienna-based IPI, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Madrid-based Platform in Defence of Free Expression (PDLI).

The groups visited Spain in June for talks with senior officials prompted by a series of measures by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's that critics said endangered freedom of expression.

The report concluded that the measures, including in particular the Public Security Law, "harbour evident dangers for the free flow of information in the public interest".

That legislation, dubbed the "gag law" by opponents, took effect in July and punishes with "hefty fines" the unauthorised use of images of police and the failure to show due respect to officers, amongst other things, the report said.

It was put forward during unprecedented public protests against austerity cuts that involved clashes between police and demonstrators as well as alleged instances of police aggression against journalists, it said.

Story continues below…

Drawn up by Rajoy's ruling conservative Popular Party government, the law also sets fines of tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of euros for unauthorised protests outside parliament and places such as nuclear power plants.

It has been "strongly criticised" by all of Spain's major journalist associations, the Madrid Bar Association, the General Association of Spanish Bars, the UN Human Rights Committee, five UN human rights rapporteurs and major international media outlets, the IPI said.

"We strongly urge whichever party or parties that will form the next Spanish government to take into account the relevant criticism both from within Spain and abroad, and to adopt the recommendations in this report," said the IPI's Martha Steffens, who led the mission.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Eta members made a ceasefire declaration in January, 2011. Photo: Gara / AFP

Five years after armed separatist group Eta declared a permanent ceasefire, Basque journalist Alberto Letona is still wondering when the dialogue will begin.

Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Call Crimestoppers if you recognize these faces.

These fugitives from British justice are thought to be hiding out in Spain. Do you recognize anyone?

Eta 'not dead' but Spain focus moves onto jihadism
Archive photo of a pro-mural in the Basque Country. Photo: AFP

Five years after Eta quit violence, the Basque separatist group has yet to dissolve but it poses little threat and authorities have shifted their focus to fight jihadists, says Spain's chief anti-terrorism prosecutor.

Brazilian suspect in grisly Madrid murder turns self in
Marcos Campos Nogueira is the chief suspect in the murder of a married couple and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil/Twitter

A Brazilian teenager suspected of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain has turned himself in to police.

Spain approves equal parental leave for fathers
Photo: Rietje Swart / Flickr

Fathers will now be allowed the same parental leave as new mothers, under measures agreed by Spain’s parliament.

Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Photo: Dickukne / Flickr

Do you have trouble sleeping? Then Napflix is the television channel for you.

Women in Spain will 'work for free' from October 21st
Women in Spain earn 19.3 percent less than men. Photo: World Bank Collection / Flickr

Spain's gender pay gap effectively means women won't get paid for the rest of the year, according to a new report.

The Local List
Nine incredibly  addictive television series from Spain
A still from Spanish TV series Velvet. Photo: Antena3.com

As the evenings draw in, what could be better than curling up on the sofa to watch a box set?

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
Spanish team invents hands-free 'penis bidet'
In pics: Devastation caused by Costa Blanca wildfires
jobs available