Photo: Police violence on the 1st of October, 2018 (Credit: Sergi Alcàzar)
By El Nacional
20th March, 2018
The leading Swedish newspaper, and most widespread in Scandinavia, Aftonbladet (The Late Afternoon) has described Spain as an “authoritarian state” in a tough article, making reference to the of the Catalan referendum on October 1st, 2017.
The article, written by Johanna Frändén, is entitled “The future of Spain: an authoritarian state in which freedom of expression is abandoned.”
The article explains the case of the persecution of the Twitter user Cassandra Vera, who tweeted a joke about the assassination of Franco’s Luis Carrero Blanco and points out that Spain has been a democracy since 1978, but has clear political health issues, 44 years on. She cites cases of court proceedings against journalists, artists, musicians and puppeteers, and the so-called “gag law”.
Photo: The article in Aftonbladet online
The article reminds readers that Spain is the biggest tourist destination for Swedes after Finland and reflects on the fact that until last fall, with the Catalan referendum, and its repression with “physical violence”, “Europe was not awakened” regarding the Catalan situation.
She also recalls the impulsive behaviour of Spanish justice in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, regarding the burning photos of the King of Spain, in which the State was condemned for violating freedom of expression.
“The problem is that neither Sweden or the EU seem to be particularly interested in seeing what is happening in Spain: where they have become an authoritarian state where freedom of expression is treated as a local issue,” the writer said.