Basque journalist cleared of charges in "gag law" case

Expression

The Spanish government passed a "gag law" in 2015, forbidding citizens, including journalists, from publishing any pictures or data about police or security officers on duty that could potentially risk a person's safety or the success of a security operation. This law penalised thousands of citizens, including Axier López, a Basque journalist with media outlet ARGIA. In March 2017, López was cleared of all charges against him. Many in the media community view the verdict as a victory and are hopeful it will set a precedent for future such cases.

During 2016, 25 people were found guilty for violating a law that prohibits "glorifying terrorism". The law also aims to prevent hate speech. One of the 25 cases was dismissed in early January 2017; it involved two puppeteers who staged a show in which a combination of Al Quaeda and ETA names were used. They were arrested for "glorifying terrorism", and though they were released several days later, their case took a year in court before finally being dismissed. 

Peaceful Assembly

After the body of a young boy washed up on a beach in Cadiz, approximately 160,000 people rallied in Barcelona, urging Spain's government to meet the refugee resettlement quota it had pledged to in 2015. The protest had the support of Ana Colau, mayor of Barcelona, who encouraged residents to participate. All reports indicated that the demonstration was peaceful. 

Tags: protest