Basque nationalists in Spain staged an anti-police protest in Barcelona on Wednesday (21 September) at a memorial service for a 28-year-old man who had died after being injured in a demonstration ten days earlier.
Basque nationalists in Spain staged an anti-police protest in Barcelona on Wednesday (21 September) at a memorial service for a 28-year-old man who had died after being injured in a demonstration ten days earlier. Police originally said the man had been trampled by demonstrators - but a doctor who attended him said he'd been hit by a rubber bullet.
SYNOPSIS: The demonstration came the day after another violent incident, when a bomb exploded in the El Papus magazine building, killing a porter and injuring 10 people. An extreme right-wing organisation, calling itself the Apostolic Anti-Communist Alliance, later claimed responsibility.
Several hundred Basque nationalists attended the memorial service for the demonstration victim, Carlos Gustavo Frechel. After their original claims, police did admit he could have been hit by one of the rubber bullets they had fired to break up the protest. The admission came after the doctor who'd attended Frechel was quoted in several newspapers as saying 'I noticed the serious impact of a rubber bullet. I did not find any other bruises.' This, he said, contradicted reports of Frechel's having been trampled. Meanwhile after the memorial service priest had attacked police methods, a Basque nationalist addressed the congregation. He, too, accused police of excessive violence in dealing with the earlier demonstration.
After the service, mourners and demonstrators marched through the city streets. Scenes like this have become familiar throughout Spain as various political factions exercise a range of freedoms denied for nearly four decades under the late General Francisco Franco.