Target: Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
Goal: Protect the right to assembly for the citizens of Spain and end repressive tactics by the Spanish government
The violent dispersal of peaceful protests by Spanish authorities has become increasingly common. The government of Spain has also implemented numerous pieces of legislation aimed at preventing the freedom of assembly, a basic human right. Spanish police have used rubber bullets, gas and batons to disperse crowds of people who are deemed to be holding illegitimate protests. This has led to a number of people who have been maimed and seriously injured. Once in detainment facilities, protestors have reported physical and mental abuse committed by the security forces. Urge the Spanish government to allow for freedom of assembly for its people.
In 2012, there were 15,000 demonstrations across Spain, and 3,500 in Madrid alone. The government publicly recognized that demonstrators committed acts of violence in less than one percent of these demonstrations. Regardless, the police acted brutally to suppress these assemblies. In addition, the Spanish government passed laws to fine organizers of demonstrations and leaders of opposition movements. These fines can be as high as €30,050. Many are unable to pay these fines due to the fact that they cannot find work in Spain, hence their activism. International law dictates that demonstrators cannot be fined if they have not committed a crime.
The Spanish government is planning more laws to prevent the right to peaceful assembly by reforming the Law on the Protection of Public Safety. These amendments will increase fines and allow police to arrest more demonstrators who have not committed any internationally recognized crime. The government of Spain should act to protect their citizens’ human rights, not actively work against them. Sign this petition to urge Spanish officials to protect human rights.
Dear Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy,
Your government must do more to protect the freedom of assembly in Spain. The citizens of your country will only grow more dissatisfied and take the streets more often to protest your violations of human rights. The laws that are in place and being considered by your legislative branch are also violations of international human rights laws.
I ask that your government immediately work to repair the faith of your citizens by halting legislation aimed at making peaceful public demonstrations a thing of the past. Your government is moving in the wrong direction. I ask that you take significant action to bring your government back in line with international regulations.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Enric Archivell via Flickr