19 Mar 2018 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 19 Mar 2018 n° 23/2018 Spain
Impunity for Police Officers who Attacked Journalists
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Several Spanish journalists' organisations (FAPE, FeSP and FSC-CCOO) denounce the judicial impunity enjoyed by police officers who assaulted three journalists while they were covering an arrest following an anti-monarchy demonstration held in Madrid on 29 March 2014. Three regular contributors to the online daily eldiario.es, Gabriel Pecot, Mario Munera and Juan Ramón Robles, were assaulted by police while covering the event. The journalists had immediately filed a complaint that was dismissed without further action. Following an appeal against this first judicial decision, on 24 May 2017, the provincial prosecutor's office considered that there was no evidence that the police had prevented the exercise of freedom of information by the journalists present. On 13 March 2018, Madrid investigating court no. 46 ruled the limitation period for this case had come to an end. According to the court, the only police officer formally identified by the Justice did indeed strike two journalists on the arms and neck, but the facts were then considered as time-barred. The journalists' lawyers are accusing the provincial prosecutor of deliberately delaying the analysis of the case in order to exceed the expiry date of the limitation period.
- Statement by the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media: "Attacks against journalists in Spain are unacceptable"
- Statement by FIJ: "España: FIP y FEP, preocupadas por la impunidad de las agresiones policiales contra periodistas"
- Statement by the EFJ : "Espagne: impunité pour les policiers qui avaient agressé des journalistes"
- Statement by the Plataforma en Defensa de la Libertad de Información (PDLI): "La justicia española deja impunes agresiones policiales a periodistas pese a considerarlas probadas"