In its annual report on the state of human rights in countries across the world, Amnesty International has criticized Spain for making excessive terrorism allegations against people expressing a difference of opinion on social media.
“Authorities pressed criminal charges against people who had expressed opinions that did not constitute incitement to a terrorism-related offence and fell within the permissible forms of expression under international human rights law,” reads the report, published Thursday.
According to the document, 20 people were found guilty of glorifying terrorism online last year, including a young woman named Cassandra Vera who was sentenced to two and a half years in jail after making “a few jokes” on Twitter about the 1973 assassination of Luis Carrero Blanco, who was the Spanish prime minister towards the end of the Franco dictatorship.
Dozens of people were prosecuted for “glorification of terrorism” and “humiliation of victims” on social media networks,” the report adds. The document mentions the case of puppeteers who were detained in pre-trial custody for five days for “supporting terrorism and inciting hate” in 2016.
Amnesty International also condemns the government’s response to the Catalan secessionist drive. During the illegal referendum on October 1, the reports argues that Spanish police used excessive force against peaceful protesters opposing a police operation.