Referendum reference in Wikipedia page edited from Spanish defense ministry IP address

Changes are under investigation and include deleting section on police violence during October 2017 referendum

VilaWeb
VilaWeb / Catalan News Agency
15.09.2022 - 12:11

The Wikipedia page of the western Catalan town of Alcarràs was edited from an IP address linked with the Spanish defense ministry, as denounced by social media users on Wednesday. The section on police violence seen in the town during the October 2017 independence referendum was erased. Other changes also included adding the word “illegal” when referring to the self-determination vote, which was outlawed by Spanish courts.

These modifications were done on the Catalan language version of the page only, as the Spanish one does not include any mention of the referendum. In that case, the edit was just to add a comma between Catalonia and Spain.

During the vote, 2,799 people went to the ballots, 53.4% of the eligible population in the town, with 92.6% (2,578) voting in favor of independence and 171 (6.1%) voting against. However, results came after residents were forcefully confronted by Spanish Guardia Civil police officers on the morning of 1 October 2017. Over 80 officers arrived in the town to stop the voting from taking place. In Alcarràs, law enforcement agents encountered 500 people peacefully attempting to stop them from entering the voting hall. Police officers attacked residents leaving 20 injured.

The changes, which the defense ministry has confirmed, are being investigated. They were made on Tuesday afternoon from the IP address 193.33.2.243, located in Madrid, just hours after the film ‘Alcarràs’, directed by Carla Simón, was chosen as Spain’s Oscars entry. The ministry has already announced that depending on the results of the investigation, all the documentation could be sent to the court, or appropriate measures could be taken.

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