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Parliamentary questions
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3 October 2017
Question for written answer E-006177-17
to the Commission
Rule 130
Jasenko Selimovic (ALDE)

 Subject:  Recent police brutality in Catalonia
 Answer in writing 

According to factual media reports and the Catalan health ministry, approximately 893 individuals were injured in clashes during Catalonia’s so-called independence referendum, as Spanish riot police raided polling stations, dragged away voters and fired rubber bullets.

The issue here is not the question of Catalonian independence, which is a Spanish domestic concern, but the matter of police violence.

Such disproportionate use of police violence needs to be investigated properly and independently. According to the case-law of the European Court of Justice, the legal basis for law enforcement has three main components: the principles of necessity, proportionality and precaution. While necessity and proportionality set limits on how and when force may be used lawfully during policing actions, the principle of precaution requires states to ensure that law enforcement operations are planned and conducted so as to minimise the risk of injury. There are reasons to believe that the use of force demonstrated by Spanish police forces in connection with Catalonia’s so-called independence referendum was in violation of these principles, which is why an independent investigation is crucially needed.

What does the Commission intend to do to encourage the Spanish authorities to conduct such an independent investigation?

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