The NGOs Greenpeace and Liberties consider some restrictions on freedoms in Spain and other European states during the pandemic to be disproportionate. A report published on Thursday picks up on press criticism of the Spanish government for having limited the possibility to ask questions at press conferences during the confinement period. Examples of ‘new forms of censorship’ also include the fact that the paramilitary Guardia Civil was instructed to identify false news that could cause social alarm. “There were arrests for making jokes on social media about the virus”, the report states.
As for the right to protest, although the report does not say that Spain is one of the most problematic countries, it does highlight the ‘disparities’ in interpreting the restrictions of the state of alarm on the protests . Specifically, between the Spanish Constitutional Court and the Prosecutors Office on whether the state of emergency allows to ban demonstrations.
The text also recalls that before the pandemic there were already worrying restrictions on civic space. The report highlights that in Spain, since 2015, a large number of musicians, journalists, lawyers and Twitter users have been affected by accusations of exaltation of terrorism that, in the opinion of the entities, threaten the freedom of expression.