HUMAN Rights Watch have called for the Spanish parliament to scrap a draft law on public security.
The Bill, nicknamed ‘the gag law’, will place restrictions on protests and freedom of speech as well as coming down on the homeless, sex workers and drug users.
The human rights group claim the Bill infringes on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly as well as ‘unjustifiably punishing vulnerable groups’.
“Although it’s better than the government’s original draft, the legislation still undermines fundamental rights in myriad ways,” said Judith Sunderland, senior Western Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch.
“The Senate should take this last chance to ensure that the Spanish government doesn’t erode basic rights and freedoms in Spain.”
The proposed Bill would limit when and where protests may take place, and impose steep fines on those who hold spontaneous protests.
Similarly high fines of up to €600 will also be placed on anyone showing a ‘lack of respect’ to police officers, which Human Rights Watch argue would ‘stifle freedom of speech’.
In addition the Bill takes a punitive approach to the homeless, sex workers, and people who use drugs, allowing fines of up €30,000 for anyone deemed to be a ‘degrading’ public property.