Freedom of Expression?

Year 2014 has ended a few days ago, and now it’s usual to remind events or images of the past year. This is an image that was widely disseminated in social networks here, not so much in conventional media where censorship works very well.

Cops arresting woman while her son cries
Madrid, 19 June 2014

A woman is arrested by a group of cops. She is squatting to hug her son, weeping beside her, while phoning her husband to take care of the kid. Her crime? She is carrying a Spanish Republican flag.

The flag that the woman has over her leg was the official Spanish flag during the years that Spain was a Republic (1931-1939), until the dictator Franco replaced it by the current Spanish one. Nowadays, the Republican flag is a symbol for all those who wish a democratic Republic instead of an authoritarian Monarchy. I have one in my balcony.

Is a crime to show a Republican flag in Spain? No, according to laws and the Constitution which supposedly govern in Spain. Supposedly this is protected by Freedom of Expression. Then, how someone can be arrested because of show this flag? Nobody from police department or government answer this question, simply they do it.

This happened on 19 June 2014, the day that the Spanish regime celebrated Felipe VI coronation, after the resignation of his daddy Juan Carlos I. A lot of people showed Republican flags that day to protest against the Monarchy, and the Spanish regime didn’t like that because they pretend that people here is glad with the Monarchy. So, people with Republican flags were forced to hide them or arrested, even people with small Republican pins; also cops came into homes with Republican flags at windows or balconies to take them off.

Freedom of Expression, yes, always that you express what they want.

Authorities know these cases are damaging their image, and they are trying to fix this. Their new Gag Law has been sanctioned and will enter into force in February. With this Gag Law, the photographer who did this photo could have been punished with a 30.000€ fine. Problem solved, at least that is what they think.

They are good scaring children, but it’s more difficult with adults.


2 thoughts on “Freedom of Expression?

    1. Surely it will be revoked by European courts or forced to be modified, because it breaches international treaties. But that takes a long time. Anyway the government hopes to push back the tide now, thinking in an economic recovery (which never arrives) that will solve all the problems soon.


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