Members of the Mortgage Victims' Platform shout slogans as they take part in a protest in front of the headquarters of Spain's centre-right People's Party in MadridTHE Spanish senate has approved controversial plans to change the country’s security laws.

Nicknamed the ‘gag law’ by activists and human rights groups, the change in legislation will crackdown on protests as well as the most vulnerable members of society, including sex workers, drug takers and the homeless.

The law is expected to be ratified at the end of this month. Once it is fines of up to €30,000 will be imposed on anyone deemed to be ‘degrading public property’ or causing ‘serious disturbances of public safety’.

Human Right Watch have slammed the proposed Bill for ‘unjustifiably punishing vulnerable groups’ and ‘stifling freedom of speech’.

“The legislation undermines fundamental right in myriad ways,” said Judith Sunderland, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, prior to the Senate’s decision.

She also made a plea for the Senate to ‘ensure that the government doesn’t erode basic rights and freedoms in Spain’, but it would appear to have fallen on deaf ears.


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