Since the 2015 Universal Periodic Review on Spain, Freemuse has observed a sharp increase in violations of freedom of artistic expression in the country. Artists have become increasingly subject to various limitations on their expressions, especially through censorship, detention, and imprisonment. These violations have been facilitated by the 2015 Law on Public Security and sections of the Spanish Criminal Code, alongside the socio-political environment that followed the 2017 referendum on Catalonian independence.
» Read the full Freemuse Spain UPR submission here
Freemuse recommends that Spain undertake the following actions:
1. Review the 2015 Law on Public Security (or gag law), to ensure that artists and cultural workers can perform their jobs without undue censorship and fear of prosecution;
2. Repeal Articles 578 and 579 of the Spanish Criminal Code and draft specific definitions for ‘public glorification or justification’ and other justifications for terrorist acts;
3. Work alongside civil society organisations to understand the importance of freedom of artistic expression in society;
4. Amend criminal defamation laws so that they comply with relevant international human rights safeguards;
5. Develop programmes to increase dialogue and create awareness between diverse religious groups and artists to prevent artists facing undue pressure or harassment, as well as violations based on their support for certain political ideologies and or religious expressions.