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EU will not 'encourage' Spain to open inquiry into police violence on Oct 1

European Commission says ensuring compliance with fundamental rights is the “responsibility” of the Spanish government

 

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06 February 2018 06:51 PM

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ACN | Brussels

The European Commission will not “encourage” Spain to open an independent inquiry into the police violence during the referendum on independence held on October 1. The EU’s Home Affairs Commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, made the announcement in answer to a parliamentary question put forward by a Swedish MEP, which stressed the “crucial need” to open an independent investigation into the behavior of the Spanish police.

In answering the question from Jasenko Selimovic, who is Swedish but of Bosnian origin, the EU commissioner said opening such an investigation is “the responsibility of the member state involved,” and Avramopoulos went on to argue that the “Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union is only applicable to European law.” Spain, added the commissioner, is “responsible for maintaining law and order and providing security within its borders.”

Selimovic’s question, which was dated October 3, pointed out that 893 people were injured on October 1 due to the actions of the Spanish police and the Guardia Civil. In the end, the Catalan Health department listed 1,066 injured people after the charges. “The issue in question here is not Catalonia’s independence, which is a Spanish domestic affair, but the police violence,” insisted the MEP. As a result, Selimovic called on the Commission to “encourage the Spanish authorities to conduct this investigation.”

However, the Commission’s official response to the question, which was dated the end of January, not only rejects putting any pressure on the Spanish authorities to open an inquiry into the events of October 1, but insists that “these are times for unity and stability, not division and fragmentation.”

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