Violent protests in Spain, France against security policies

(CNN) – Violent clashes erupted Sunday in both France and Spain during anti-lockdown demonstrations against government security measures that limit free movement of people and goods in vulnerable areas such as major train stations….

Violent protests in Spain, France against security policies

(CNN) – Violent clashes erupted Sunday in both France and Spain during anti-lockdown demonstrations against government security measures that limit free movement of people and goods in vulnerable areas such as major train stations.

At least five people were taken to the hospital after about 500 people reportedly started the clashes in the Spanish port city of Malaga, according to local media reports. Dozens of people were reportedly arrested in France, the AFP news agency reported.

The protests in Spain and France came as the European Commission opened an investigation into mass detention — which European law considers deprivation of liberty without sufficient cause — of people without charge.

The Commission requested information from Spain, France and several other countries about mass detention in such locations as train stations, markets and hospitals, spokeswoman Vanessa Mock said in a statement.

Part of Spain’s action involves a law passed late last year that set strict criteria for an offender to be considered a terrorist, meaning police could consider mass detention as an option.

The mass detention law, initially applied in the Catalonia region during last year’s independence crisis, has since been introduced in the other regions.

The arrests of people suspected of belonging to terror groups and association with terrorists will not have legal consequences for Spaniards or French nationals who are detained, Spanish Justice Minister Jesus Montero said in a statement.

“The commissioner announced that he will be offering clarification and recommendations to the Spanish government so that Spaniards are not perceived as suspects in relation to terrorism,” Montero said.

Anger against anti-lockdown policies has risen in recent months in France after 26 people were killed in a series of attacks in the country in March 2017, including a deadly truck attack on a Parisian Christmas market.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner urged calm Saturday after protests in Paris saw several vehicles set on fire.

“No use violence. There is not a single option, we have to limit our space on land, but I know that people have the right to express themselves and I want to say I am asking people to abstain from violence,” Castaner told journalists at a press conference Saturday.

The fires targeted the controversial Arc de Triomphe memorial to the Paris terror attacks of 2015, which is located in central Paris near the French government offices and the Elysee Palace. The statue has become a symbol of France’s fight against terrorism, including a sign read “remembrance is a crime.”

The Arc de Triomphe was rebuilt in 2013, after a replica was damaged during a terrorist attack.

Copyright 2019 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Leave a Comment