Dear friends, clients and readers,
Probably very few of Non Spanish nationals might know that a new Orwellian “Citizens Security Law” (which Spanish people cuttingly refer to as the “gagging law,”) went into effect July 1st, in Spain.
Well, just a few weeks ago, I read in a newspaper that a person posted on her Facebook page an ordinary picture of a police car parked in a handicapped parking spot with the caption “Park where you bloody well please and you won’t even be fined.”
The outcome couldn’t be so outrageous. As a consequence of this repressive law,- in less than 48 hours,- the person was located and fined €800, simply for sharing the picture on social media. Scary, isn’t it?
This heavy and so disproportionate fine was imposed based on one of that law’s clause that says, “the unauthorised use of images of police officers that might jeopardise their or their family’s safety or that of protected facilities or police operations”. The fines for this infraction can escalate up to an astronomical amount of €30,000.
Therefore, the supposed rationale behind this sanction was that sharing the photograph “endangered ” the police’s “personal safety.”
It is questionable how the police safety was put at risk in this particular case, and someone might be tempted to believe that perhaps the real purpose of this law might be twofold; one, to be used as an effective tool to collect money from the tax payers, and second,- (and much more worrying),- to prevent ordinary citizens from speaking out against the police or public authorities in all kind of public forums, (not just on Facebook or other virtual social media).
For the moment, the only available remedy in these kinds of situations would be to file an administrative suit against the Government (“recurso contencioso administrativo” called in Spanish), aimed to contest the imposed unfair fine.
Sometimes, it is not just the economical sanction in itself what is at stake, but more importantly the constitutional right of freedom of speech. Subsequently all legal remedies must be used in order to fight against these kind of unfair violation of our human rights, preventing the illegitimate use of totalitarian power by the government and their public servants.
In this particular case, although the sanction was later cancelled, but the crucial point is that it should have never been imposed in the first place.
We hope this information is useful and should you have any additional question about this or other legal matter, please visit any of our two websites: www.ricorabogados.com or www.englishsolicitorinspain.com
Remember that we are experts in defending cases of human right’s violations, so in case you might be imposed an illegal fine or worst, you might be victim of an illegal detention by the police, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reply back to you as matter of urgency.
Thank you very much for your attention and permanent support and we look forward to helping you!
Mr Oscar Ricor“NON-PRACTISING ENGLISH SOLICITOR IN ENGLAND AND WALES”, under the “Solicitors Regulation Authority” (SRA) SRA number 519196 and practicing Spanish Solicitor