Spanish minister tells BBC that police violence was ‘fake news’, but 155 videos suggest otherwise [VIDEO]

Fake news discussed on Andrew Marr Show
Support us and go ad-free

BBC host Andrew Marr interviewed Spain’s Foreign Minister, Alfonso Dastis, on his show on 22 October. He asked the minister about the police violence that took place in Catalonia during its recent independence referendum. And astonishingly, Dastis responded by suggesting that much of it was “fake news”. But over 150 videos of police violence in different locations, along with a report by Human Rights Watch, show just how absurd that suggestion is.

“Fake news”?

Dastis told Marr:

I don’t think there is any brutal situation… Many of those pictures have been proven to be fake pictures.

Marr responded with an incredulous “Really?”, as his show passed footage of police attacking citizens. But Dastis stuck to his claims, arguing that, where there were instances of police violence, that was due to ‘provocation’. He said:

I’m not saying that all are fake pictures, but some of them are… There have been a lot of alternative facts and fake news here… If there was at all – and according to the pictures there was – some use of force, it was not a deliberate use of force. It was a provoked use of force.

So for Dastis, it seems any force used was either accidental or the fault of the victims.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The videos that suggest Dastis is wrong

There is now a compilation of 155 videos (at the time of writing) of police violence on the day of Catalonia’s independence referendum. This includes footage from the mainstream media (such as the BBC, Al Jazeera, and Catalonia’s TV3); as well as videos uploaded by citizens.

Here are just three from that compilation:

The entire collection can be found here.

Catalonia’s Health Department also said [Catalan] on 2 October that 893 people had reported injuries in connection with police actions. But in the immediate aftermath of the violence, Spain’s King Felipe VI did not mention any of it in a television address. And if Dastis needs further proof of police violence, he only needs to see a damning report which Human Rights Watch released after the referendum.

Ongoing tensions

Now, Madrid is reportedly planning to take control of Catalonia’s public television network – TV3. And following Saturday 21 October’s massive demonstration in Barcelona in opposition to the Spanish government’s plans, several thousand people took to the streets in Bilbao to show solidarity with the Catalan people. Bilbao is in the Basque Country, another region in Spain which has long had a strong independence movement.

Meanwhile, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont’s rejection of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s plan to sack the Catalan government, and for Catalonia to come under the direct rule of Madrid, means the stalemate continues. And over the coming days, the Parliament of Catalonia is expected to debate whether or not to declare independence.

Catalonia, with its revolutionary past, is now at a crossroads. And its potential independence could mean the end of Spain as a viable nation state.

No wonder Madrid is desperate to label police violence as “fake news”.

Get Involved!

– Read more about Spain and Catalonia at The Canary Global.

– Also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more independent global coverage.

Join The Canary so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

Featured image via screengrab

Support us and go ad-free

Do your bit for independent journalism

Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.

We need you to help out, if you can.

When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.

You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.

In return you get:

  • Advert free reading experience
  • Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
  • 20% discount from our shop


The Canary Fund us

Comments are closed