Available video footage suggests that abuses of power and excessive use of police force against peaceful protesters may have been widespread. Liberties and Rights International Spain (RIS) also ask the Spanish authorities to conduct an investigation about the possible root causes of the abuses.
Liberties and RIS don’t have a position on the Catalonia independence referendum, but they do have a clear position on police abuses. The European Convention on Human Rights and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights are all clear about the ban on excessive police force against peaceful protesters expressing their political opinion. The 800 plus number of injuries strongly suggests that Spanish law enforcement agencies abused their powers.
“It is very hard to believe that what we have seen in Catalonia during the last few days on behalf of the police was necessary and proportionate. It is of utmost importance that all allegations of police misconduct are appropriately investigated and prosecuted. Creating independent police complaints mechanisms is also essential for regaining public trust in state authorities and for safeguarding human rights and the rule of law in Spain," stated Balazs Denes, Executive Director of the Civil Liberties Union for Europe.