Saturday, December 4

The Prosecutor’s Office does not see a hate crime in Vox’s Islamophobic campaign of the Catalan elections

The Prosecutor’s Office has shelved the investigation into Vox’s Islamophobic campaign in the last Catalan elections on February 14. According to the Public Ministry, the video that Vox disseminated on social networks during the campaign under the slogan ‘Stop Islamization in Catalonia’ is protected by freedom of expression and does not constitute the crime of incitement to hatred that several Muslim entities denounced.

In the report of last July that puts an end to the proceedings, to which has had access, the Madrid Prosecutor’s Office resolves that although Vox’s Islamophobic campaign can be described “at least as unfortunate or unfortunate”, it does not stop be “the expression of an opinion.” The far-right party in the video linked immigration with crime and even jihadism.

The Vox video was denounced by the Union of Islamic Communities of Catalonia (UCIDCAT), the Islamic Federation of Catalonia (FIC), the Federation of the Islamic Council of Catalonia (FCIC) and the Muslim entity against Islamophobia. The entities considered that the recording of the far-right party “incites hatred against Islam and Muslims in Catalonia and Spain.”

The complaint centered on a video in which the far-right party mixed news related to the Islamic community in Catalonia with images of the attacks of August 17, 2017 in the Ramblas of Barcelona, ​​representing Muslims as “dangerous foreigners, suspicious or potentially terrorist. ”Twitter even suspended the account of the far-right party due to a xenophobic tweet on January 22.

The party combined the video with a visit to Ripoll (Girona), where the jihadists of the 17-A, 2017 attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils lived. The candidate for the Generalitat, Ignacio Garriga, and the president of the party in Madrid, Rocío Monasterio, referred to Ripoll as the “cradle of jihadism” during a visit to the population and linked the people with terrorism and immigration to “totalitarianism. of Islam “.

Initially the investigations fell on the service against hate crimes and discrimination of the Barcelona Prosecutor’s Office, but they moved to Madrid because the video was published from the national headquarters of Vox in the capital of Spain. The Prosecutor’s Office frames the video in Vox’s “very belligerent” campaign “against immigration” before 14F. The video was viewed by 41,456 people on YouTube and 54,900 people on Twitter.

The Prosecutor’s Office states that the video “must be framed within the ideology” of Vox, a party “legitimately constituted and registered as such,” recalls the Public Ministry. Although the association of immigration to crime “could be described at least as unfortunate or unfortunate because it can stigmatize an entire group”, from a legal point of view the Prosecutor’s Office concludes that it does not constitute a crime of incitement to hatred.

“The video does not cease to be – concludes the Prosecutor’s Office – the expression of an opinion, in this case of a political party in the free exercise of ideological freedom and to freely express their thoughts, ideas and opinions.”

The spokesman for Muslims against Islamophobia, Ibrahim Miguel Ángel Pérez, has regretted the filing of the investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office and has pointed out that his association will consider filing a complaint directly with the courts. “We do not understand how the Madrid Prosecutor’s Office does not see a hate crime in fixing Vox against Islam,” he criticized.