The European Commissioner for Human Rights has informed the Ombudsman that he has requested that the police charges of 1st-Oct be investigated


The Catalan Ombudsman recently sent the Commissioner information on the social and political context in Spain and in Catalonia

Nils Muižnieks has made the letter sent on October 4th to the Spanish Minister of Internal Affairs public

He has also made public the answer of the minister, who dismissed the request and defended the actions of the security forces

“I urge you to ensure, in co-operation with other authorities in charge of law enforcement that swift, independent and effective investigations are carried out into all allegation of police misconduct and disproportionate use of force during the events of 1 October 2017 in Catalonia”. This is the requirement that the European Commissioner for Human Rights recently sent (4 October) to the Minister of the Interior, Juan Ignacio Zoido. The Catalan Ombudsman also sent the Commissioner information on the social and political context in Spain and Catalonia; in particular, he has forwarded information about the actions of the state security forces on October 1st and the institution's desire to elucidate judicial and police responsibilities.

Despite the forcefulness of Nils Muižnieks’ letter, the Spanish minister dismissed the recommendation in a letter stating that "the state security forces and bodies, following instructions from the judiciary, acted with caution and proportionality."

The Catalan Ombudsman, who is continuing his research and has already received about 200 complaints on this situation, considers that this issue must be looked into and it should be ensured that it does not happen again.

Rafael Ribó also informed about the seriousness of the events, besides the European Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Ombudsman, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the president of the International Ombudsman Institute and the regional ombudsmen.

Among the international rights defence organizations that have so far spoken against the violence used by the security forces there are the Congress of European Local and Regional Authorities, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Organization for to the Security and the Cooperation in Europe, as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the special rapporteur for freedom of expression and opinion.

The Catalan  Ombudsman also learned that Amnesty International concludes, in the report prepared by observers, that there was an excessive and unnecessary use of force by the police on defenceless people and the use of rubber balls, and also that Human Rights Watch is also writing one.

Access to the letters available at the European Comissioner for Human Rights website