11 Jun 2019 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 07 Apr 2015 n° 26/2015 Spain

Spanish Public Security Law Threatens Freedom of Press

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
The Public Security bill was adopted on 26 March 2015 by the Spanish Parliament on the proposal from the People’s Party (the right wing conservative in power). The bill is hostile to press freedom and allows government to sanction journalists for taking pictures or filming police forces in the exercise on their duties.
Article 26 of the bill provides that “unauthorised use of pictures, films or personal/professional data of authorities or members of security forces will be considered as serious offence because they could put their personal or their family’s security in danger.” The sanction provided for is a fine of 601 to 30 000 Euros.
The Platform for the Defence of Freedom of Information (PDLI), of which the Spanish Union of Journalists (FESP) is a member, has stated that: “The passage of this bill represents the worst attack on fundamental freedoms in Spain since the end of Franco dictatorship. There’s no democratic ground to such a direct attack against freedom of demonstration, information and expression.
Updates
11 Jun 2019
With the election of the government in June 2018, the reform of the Citizen Safety Law has been launched. In February 2019, parliamentary groups reached an agreement on how to modify the legislation. However, due to the Spanish Prime Minister calling for an early general election, these revisions could not be passed through the Congress. The parliamentary reform of the “Gag Law”, already underway, is now pending in the new legislature.
Follow-ups
23 Nov 2018
CoE Human Rights Commissioner urges Spain to ensure that the Law on Citizens’ Safety upholds the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly.
23 Oct 2015
PACE Monitoring Committee asks the Venice Commission for an opinion on the Citizen Security Law.
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