The police action in Catalonia organised by the Spanish state to prevent the referendum left 893 people either injured or bruised, 302 of whom were attended to in Barcelona. Given the events, all necessary mechanisms have been activated so that those who feel they have been victims of the aggression can denounce the abuse legally. Municipal action is mainly based around providing judicial support and psycho-social and psychological care for victims.
The Councillor for Citizen Rights, Participation and Transparency, Jaume Asens, described the events as “the most serious in the last thirty years” in terms of institutional violence. Asens announced that the City Council will be taking legal action and acting as popular prosecutors “in those cases where injuries are most serious”, such as the man injured by a rubber bullet. In other cases, necessary support will be provided on a case-by-case basis.
In order for citizens to provide images, recordings and other evidence of police aggression, the email address email@example.com has been set up as a way of providing a basis for criminal proceedings.
In order to process information received, the Office for Non-discrimination (OND) will be bolstering its services up until Friday 6 October, opening from 10 am to 2 pm and from 3 pm to 8 pm. Likewise, the SAIDAVI, the system to defend human rights which is jointly used by the City Council and the Centre for the Defence of Human Rights (IRIDIA) to jointly defend rights.
Open investigation into possible sexual aggressions
Asens also echoed the words of the Mayor, Ada Colau, who expressed her concern at the accounts of presumed sexual aggression by the police, insisting that the investigation is in a preliminary stage and that “facts must be carefully studied in order to qualify them and make a thorough evaluation”.
The victims in figures
The Commissioner for Health, Gemma Tarafa, explained that the people attended to in Barcelona made up 30% of those who received care in Catalonia, 170 of them being transported by emergency medical services and the other 193 going to medical centres under their own steam. Two minors were hurt, aged 12 and 14, and have now been discharged, while two other citizens remain in hospital, one having had emergency surgery and the other having suffered a heart attack as a result of a police charge. The type of injuries dealt with included bruising, multiple bruising and wounds, different traumatisms, factures and in a few cases, anxiety.