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Tue Mar 13, 2018, 12:38 PM

Spanish anti-terror law has 'chilling effect' on satire, says Amnesty International


This is actually pretty scary to think about in a supposedly "modern" EU country although after living in Spain for a while it is hardly surprising. It's time for the EU courts to do their job I think despite that a ruling would likely be roundly ignored as usual.

Amnesty International has warned that an “exponential increase” in prosecutions under a controversial Spanish anti-terrorism law is having a chilling effect on satire and dissent and is pushing social media users, musicians and journalists towards self-censorship.

The charity is calling for the law to be repealed, arguing that recent high-profile cases brought under article 578 of Spain’s criminal code have highlighted the danger the legislation poses to freedom of speech and international human rights law.

Under the article, those found guilty of “glorifying terrorism”, justifying terrorist acts or “humiliating the victims of terrorist crimes or their relatives” can be jailed, fined and banned from holding public sector jobs.

Over the past two years, the legislation has been used with increasing frequency. In 2016, a judge eventually shelved an investigation into two puppeteers who were suspected of glorifying terrorism during a performance in Madrid.

Two musicians – César Strawberry, lead singer of the group Def Con Dos, and the rapper Valtonyc – have given prison sentences following prosecutions under article 578.

Strawberry was sentenced to a year in prison in January last year for tweeting jokes about Eta and giving the king “a cake-bomb” for his birthday, while Valtonyc recently had his three-and-a-half year prison sentence upheld after being convicted of distributing songs online that threatened a politician with violence, glorified terrorism and insulted the crown.

A film-maker and a journalist are also among those charged under the legislation.

Perhaps the most notorious case, however, is that of Cassandra Vera, a student who was given a suspended jail sentence and banned from doing a publicly-funded job for seven years for tweeting jokes about the 1973 assassination of a Spanish prime minister.

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Reply Spanish anti-terror law has 'chilling effect' on satire, says Amnesty International (Original post)
Thyla Mar 2018 OP
Fred Sanders Mar 2018 #1
Thyla Mar 2018 #2

Response to Thyla (Original post)

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 12:59 PM

1. Europe experienced invasion by Nazis. They understand the need for hate speech laws.

Who can blame them?

It is easy to criticize foreign law not well understood.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 13, 2018, 01:10 PM

2. Oh I totoally understand the intention of this law and ....

... it actually prevents me from being able to express my true feelings on the matter. Here we call it the gag law. I could not post half of the threads here about Trump if I was talking about Spanish politicians. That is was this is about and has nothing to do with hate speech, it's just further normalisation of the far right in the EU.

Spain was never invaded by the Nazis, in fact they lent some support to them but never entered the war. They had their own fascist dictatorship to worry about which survived as recently as the late 70's and early 80's and clearly you don't have to scratch too far to see that it has not been eradicated fully.

Here is another couple of links with some of the other things we are not allowed to do.

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