The special support service for victims of the police charges on 1 October attended to 105 people over the first ten days since it was set up on 3 October. Accounts from those affected, who have been seeking legal and psychosocial support, make it clear that the main objective of the disproportionate actions of the Policia Nacional and Guardia Civil corps was to create panic among the population, according to the Deputy Mayor, Jaume Asens.
Presenting an evaluation of the response from municipal services, the Deputy Mayor for Citizen Rights, Participation and Transparency, Jaume Asens, explained that the disproportionate and excessive use of force by police corps injured 893 people, half of them in the city of Barcelona.
The platform for the defence of human rights #somdefensores, which compiled the report with first-hand accounts and evidence of the violence on 1 October, concluded: “There was a clear pattern of police intervention which suggests an impartial investigation is needed into what was a clear and systematic violation of human rights”. The police action is deemed as having violated the rights of freedom of expression, freedom of information, of intimacy, moral integrity and the right not to be subjected to degrading treatment.
Victim support service
Of over a hundred people who have sought support from the special service set up by the City Council, the majority suffered minor injuries due to pushing and shoving, aggressions with batons, punches, blows and kicks, leading to cuts, swelling, grazes, capsulitis, dislocations, sprains and bruising. Two cases of sexual aggressions have also been reported, as well as two injuries from rubber bullets. Those affected were present at fifteen schools and other facilities in the city which were being used as polling stations.
Besides the special service, seven workshops have been conducted at some of the schools which suffered police action, with teachers, students and local residents all taking part. A total of 154 people attended the sessions.
Offensive against rubber bullets
Appearing at the Spanish Congress, Asens asserted that the City Council is considering acting as the private prosecutor in the most severe cases, including the man who lost an eye after being hit by a rubber bullet. Asens used his visit to the Spanish parliament to call for initiatives to outlaw the use of rubber bullets throughout the state, as the Catalan parliament did in April 2014.
Continuity for the special service
The special support service for victims will remain operative until Friday 20 October. Anyone affected who has not yet requested help can either approach the Office for Non-Discrimination, located at C/ Rec 15, call 934132000 or send an email to email@example.com. The service operates from 10 am to 2 pm and from 3 pm to 8 pm.