Muzzle Law

EAJ and PSOE's attempts at reform "to leave the law as it is"

  • We will examine EAJ and PSOE's proposals for reforming the Citizen's Security Law – the Muzzle Law – in the following lines. As well as the the initiative against it taken by the Eleak-Libre organization.

Xabier Letona @xletona
2017ko martxoaren 21a

The Spanish No Somos Delito ('We are not a Crime') association has analysed EAJ (Basque Nationalist Party) and PSOE's (Spanish Socialist Workers' Party proposal: "It is an attempt to change the law, but it does not actually alter anything substantial, avoiding any real discussion of citizens' security".

They believe that PSOE's proposal combines the worst of the Muzzle Law and Corcuera's Law (1992), using imprecise, general legal concepts and leaving citizens unprotected. With regard to EAJ, according to the platform, they talk about the right to strike and foreigners' rights in the introduction, but do nothing to develop those points in the articles.

"EAJ's perspective on citizens' rights is very worrying: it puts protecting basic rights and property on the same level. According to their text, public areas are 'for the public's use and pleasure', and not areas for enjoying rights. PSOE and PP (People's Party) have the same point of view, and confuse citizens' rights with keeping public order." In their proposals, they keep one of the main points of the Muzzle Law: what the police says counts as proof. In practice, this means that the right to defence is lost.

With regard to the right to demonstrate and hold meetings, PSOE's proposals are still very limiting. EAJ's texts opens the door to spontaneous, non-permitted meetings, but only in situations of emergency. In addition to that, "EAJ keeps the idea of expelling migrants in the heat of the moment, straight away, and that means criminalising poverty."

There are also some improvements, "but not many". In several cases, PSOE reduces fines. The best changes come from EAJ, which suggests removing fines from many cases, for instance for taking unpermitted photographs of security forces, meeting in front of the Parliament or the Senate, and obstructing streets.

Eleak-Libre opposes the Muzzle Law

Although the Basque Parliament committed itself to not applying the Muzzle Law on June 22nd, 2016, the Basque Autonomous Police used it 8,087 times in 2015, and 2,857 times 2016 until the end of July. Estefania Beltran de Heredia, the Basque Government's Security minister, said that they would continue to apply the law.

The Parliament of Navarre is going to request data about the use of the law and stop applying it. The Basque Autonomous Community Parliament was asked to take three measures: firstly, confirming its opposition to the Muzzle Law; secondly, publicly protesting against any use of the law, and protecting anybody punished under its terms; thirdly, confirming that it will not apply it.

What can you do if you are punished under the terms of the Muzzle Law? Eleak-Libre's telephone number will be provided, along with those of the lawyers working locally with each association, and their e-mail: If somebody punished decided to protest or disobey, the association will provide advice. The association is going to publish a guidebook about citizens' rights. The "Record the Police" movement has also been set up – the first three videos are already on the Internet – along with Ahotsa, Topatu, Hala Bideo and ARGIA. Finally, the association wants to put together a database about all police initiatives which violate civil and political rights.

ARGIAn egiten dugun kazetaritza independenteak bultzada merezi duela uste duzu?

Informazio askea lantzen dugu ARGIAn, langileok gara proiektuaren jabeak eta gure informazioen atzean ez duzu sekula multinazionalik, bankurik edo alderdi politikorik topatuko. Gure ustez, burujabetza guztien oinarrian dago informazio burujabetza, ezagutzen dugunaren gainean pentsatzen eta erabakitzen dugu. Horregatik diogu kazetaritza independentea dela demokraziaren oinarrietako bat.

Aldizkaria paperean etxean edo e-postan PDFan jaso nahi duzu? Pozik hartuko zaitugu ARGIAko komunitatean. ARGIAkoa izateko, nahi eta ahal duzun ekarpena egin dezakezu, eta bueltan egoki ikusten duzuna eskatu. Indartu dezagun indartzen gaituena!

Kanal hauetan artxibatua: English  |  Mozal legearen mehatxua  |  ARGIA mozalik gabe

English kanaletik interesatuko zaizu...
2018-09-21 | ARGIA
Incineration plant in Biscay has buried 600,000 tons of waste material without any control measures

Zero Zabor Bizkaian (Zero Waste in Biscay) platform has reported that since 2005 Zabalgarbi incineration plant located In Bilbao, has dumped 600,000 tons of waste material –polluting substances that are left after burning residue materials–  at various sites in Biscay without taking proper control measures.

2018-09-13 | ARGIA
Women's rights violated during the Hondarribia festivities

During the festivities on 8th September people in favour of the discriminatory Alarde parade cruelly persecuted the women and men taking part in the equal rights group.

2018-09-10 | ARGIA
Rubber birds instead of the real thing at Lekeitio's traditional Goose Day

During the festivities held in this town on the Basque coast the tradition, for three centuries, has been to rip the necks from hanging geese. This year more rubber than real geese have been used.

2018-09-07 | ARGIA
Fined for speaking in Basque to a policeman in Bilbao

After the annual festivities in Bilbao (Bizkaia, Basque Country), a municipal policeman fined a man dismantling stands used during the celebrations. Twice. One of the fines was for speaking in Basque, which was "a lack of respect towards the agent".

Bego˝a Zabala:
"The Spanish police's attack during the 1978 San Fermin festivities was part of an overall repression plan"

Begoña Zabala (Algorta, Basque Country, 1950) reached Iruñea in 1977 and was a first-hand witness of the police attack in the bullring and outside it.  She is a lawyer by profession, a member of the committee for establishing what took place, and she has worked on the legal side of the matter.  She took a very active part in the feminist movement in the 1970's, and has just published the book Feminismo, Transición y Sanfermines del 78 ('Feminism,... [+]

2018-07-06 | Nahia Ibarzabal
Former Spanish Police defends torture: "Basques are weak, they sing as soon as you touch them"

"I wouldn't offer somebody who's been arrested a coffee", former Spanish Civil Guard Manuel Pastrana said ironically during an interview on Catalan TV3 station, making an open case for the use of torture.

2018-07-06 | ARGIA
San Fermin Festivities
The Iru˝ea feminist movement: "We've been working for equality during the festivities for decades now"

At a press conference held shortly before the 6th of July, work carried out throughout the year has been appraised by feminists and other social stakeholders in Iruñea (Upper Navarre), and they have noted that several declarations made over recent days about San Fermin have made that easier, while others have made it more difficult.

2018-06-21 | ARGIA
Court releases on bail five men who gang raped a teenager in San Fermin

A Spanish court in Navarre (Basque Country) sentenced five men to nine years in prison for gang raping a teenage girl in 2016 in Iruñea, during the world-known Sanfermin celebration. Now they will be able to leave prison, after a controversial judicial decision. The bail of 6,000 euros imposed by the judge has generated outrage among the Basques.

Solidarity against State Oppression

Wednesday 13th June, Altsasu. Banners saying "Leave Altsasu Alone" decorate the balconies in the town. You can feel the pain, but no grief or resignation. To the contrary: the town's solidarity and strength is palpable. There are three or four locals having their afternoon coffee at Koxka Bar.  606 days have gone by since the brawl which took place there between some young locals and two Civil Guards and their sentimental partners. That is where it all started, on a market... [+]

2018-06-14 | ARGIA
350,000 hands held together in favour of the right to decide in the Basque Country

Gure Esku Dago ('It's in Our Hands', a platform in favour of the right to decide) needed 100,000 people to form a human chain linking Donostia, Bilbao and Gasteiz. According to the organizers, 175,000 people came together to connect the three Basque cities.

Eguneraketa berriak daude