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Reform of the Penal Code: Jurists and Unions Ask for a Precise Definition of the Crime of Terrorism

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Unions and Jurists Demand Reform of the Penal Code

Unai Sordo and Pepe Álvarez, general secretaries of CC. OO. and UGT respectively, together with 70 jurists, have signed a manifesto in which they request a review of the Penal Code to clarify the definition of the crime of terrorism in accordance with European regulations. This request arises after the opening of a criminal case against Carles Puigdemont for alleged terrorism crimes related to the Tsunami Democràtic case, by the Supreme Court on February 29.

Concern about the Broad Interpretation of the Crime of Terrorism

The manifesto expresses concern about the expansive interpretation of the crime of terrorism in the Penal Code, especially after the aforementioned order of the Supreme Court. The signatories fear that this interpretation could lead to actions such as farmer protests, road blockades by organized transporters and even strike actions and demonstrations by workers being classified as terrorism, despite being exercises of fundamental rights.

Differentiating between Protest and Terrorism

The manifesto highlights Spain’s history in confronting real terrorist groups such as ETA, GRAPO or jihadist attacks, and emphasizes the importance of not confusing legitimate protest with terrorism, as is the case in the Tsunami Democràtic case.

Petition for Reform of Article 573 of the Penal Code

The signatories urge the parliamentary groups to reform article 573 of the Penal Code to define the crime of terrorism in accordance with European regulations, since they consider that the Spanish definition is broader than that of the EU, which has led to a exaggerated interpretation that includes acts of social protest as terrorism.

Distinguishing Public Disorders from Terrorism

CC. OO. and UGT stress the importance of accurately distinguishing between public disorder and acts of terrorism, especially in a country with a long democratic tradition in the exercise of fundamental rights such as assembly, demonstration and strike.

Archive of the Democratic Tsunami Case

The judge of the National Court Manuel García-Castellón has decided to provisionally archive the Democratic Tsunami case, benefiting 10 people investigated for terrorism, including the general secretary of ERC, Marta Rovira, and others. The Supreme Court has not yet made a decision on the investigations of Carles Puigdemont and Rubén Wagensberg arising from García-Castellón’s actions.

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