The day freedom of speech died in Spain

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New muzzle law in Spain sparks protests

On the 11th of December Spains conservative government passed a new law that goes against basic human rights, including freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. The law which is officially called "Law for the Protection of Citizens' Security" has been renamed the muzzle law by the Spanish public.

On 20th of December thousands of demonstrators took to streets in several large Spanish cities (Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, Almeria, Granada, Valencia) to express their anger at the new law which sets huge fines for "offences" such as burning the Spanish flag or demonstrating outside government buildings or other strategic buildings. 

The new law could fine citizens up to €30,000 for disseminating photographs of police officers, €600,000 for participating in demonstrations outside parliament buildings, €600 for insulting police officers and €30,000 for burning the Spanish flag. 

The demonstrators included groups opposed to forced evictions because the law can levy fines of €30,000 for attempting to prevent home repossessions. Some protestors even said that "we are returning to the time of Franco and it is completely unconstitutional, we must protest because we cannot remain silent". Many believe the new law is an attempt by the Spanish government to muzzle protestors over their handling of the deep economic crisis that has gripped the country for several years.

Media Attention

Pieces of news have been reported in international media outlets, many questioning the Spanish governments decision. Here in Sweden, politician Gudrun Schyman has critized Swedish mainstream media for not writing about this important piece of news as well as the lack of public response in Europe, saying "Why is not entire Europe boiling in wild protests against what is happening in a EU country with 46 million inhabitants?"Instead it has been totally quiet when freedom of speech and freedom of assembly died in Spain. What is happening in Spain is shocking and should worry many Europeans, we cannot take our liberties for granted. Who knows, perhaps it will be our turn next time. 


Out of the ashes into the fire

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