Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Draft law: no more pictures of the police in action

(Law not yet in effect)
Passive resistance to get between 6 months to a year in jail
MADRID Spain's equivalent of the Home Office, the Ministry of the Interior, is the overall head of the National Police. The Director General of the police, Ignacio Cosidó, announced on Thursday that the draft of the so-called Citizen Security Law (Ley de Seguridad Ciudadana, part of, or an offshoot of the Spanish version of Homeland Security) is likely to include the prohibition of capturing, treating and publishing on Internet images, sounds and identification of the Police 'in the execution of their duties' if these put at risk the person or the operation in which he or she is involved. The announcement follows not only a meeting between Cosidó and the main police unions, but also films and photographs of police actions against demonstrations in Madrid and other cities, which show what has widely  been construed as excessive violence and repression.COMING SOON: SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION
The police boss said that the Ministry 'is looking to achieve a balance between protecting people's rights and those of the security forces.'

The measure is aimed at protecting the individual or family privacy of agents and to guarantee their right to the 'honour and image', with which the Government, 'takes a step forward' to ensure better security to Police work from the point of view of 'legality and in a democracy.'

'It is only by recognising the enormous job of the security forces that we can progresss towards a more just, more safe and peaceful society,' said Cosidó, who had announced previously that the new law was looking into the possibility of sanctions against demonstrators covering their face to avoid identification. This, he asserted, was to support the draft of changes to the Citizen Security Law, which 'sets the foundation for the prevention and persecution of behaviour that seriously puts at risk public order.'

Among other novelties included in the draft is the definition of the crime of attempting against national security, which will now cover alleged attack, aggression, use of violence or grave threats against or on a police agent or member of assistance and rescue forces.

Passive resistance is eliminated as a minor crime, but will remain as an administrative sanction in the new law. Another novelty pertains to public disorder, which becomes graver by the perpetrator carrying arms, simulated or otherwise, or if acts of violence are carried out with a risk to life and includes pillage.

Incitement to public disorder or violence via text or electronic media will now be included for punishment, though not the mere act of announcing or calling for a demonstration.

No comments: