A new expert investigation from three private accusations identifies more than 450 illegal actions during the 2017 Catalan referendum in Barcelona
Barcelona, 22nd January 2022 – Catalan NGO and ECF member Òmnium Cultural, jointly with the also Catalan NGOs Irídia and the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) have demanded 37 new prosecutions of Spanish Police Officers in the judicial investigation on the police brutality in the 2017 Catalan referendum. This case is being followed by the Investigating Court nº7 in Barcelona and three private accusations have presented to this tribunal a new expert report. It is a thorough analysis of footage that has identified 468 disproportionate police actions against civilians in polling stations in Barcelona during the Catalan referendum on October 1st 2017.
In this footage, we can be seen punches, thrusts, obstruction of the airways, strangulation or kicking, among others. After viewing these images and recordings, and as a result of months of work, the three popular accusations consider it essential to charge 37 more officers of the Spanish National Police, of which 24 would be new prosecutions and 13 would be extensions of charges of police officers already investigated. Four of them are group leaders.
Therefore, the total number of agents of the National Police charged in this judicial investigation would rise up to 90. Omnium, Iridia and the ANC, personified as private accusations, once again denounce that they are replacing the role that the Public Prosecutor’s Office should be playing in defending the fundamental rights violated by citizens.
All the disproportionate and illegal actions analized in this new expert report took place on October 1, 2017 at 16 polling stations in the city of Barcelona: Escola Mediterrània, IES Pau Claris, Pia Sant Antoni School, Ramon Llull Secondary School, Joan Fuster Secondary School, Project Education Center, Infant Jesús School, Dolors Monserdà, Santa Caterina de Siena Secondary School, Àgora, Mare Nostrum, Prosperitat School, Víctor Català School, Joan Boscà Secondary School, Guinardó Primary Care Center and Els Horts Primary School.
At the same time, the three private accusations also demand a new extension of 6 months for the investigation of the case to carry out pending investigations and reolve those that may arise from the new charges of agents of the National Police. The last extension of the investigation set the end of the instruction for January 29, 2022.