Spanish government withdraws cartoon depicting independence leader as thief
The video published by Global Spain defended the integrity of the Catalan Trial, but the foreign affairs ministry admits “error”
A video produced in defense of Spain’s justice system that depicts jailed Catalan leader Oriol Junqueras as a thief has been withdrawn by the Spanish government as it could “hurt people’s feelings.”
The video was published by Global Spain (España Global), the body in charge of managing Spain’s image and reputation abroad, and argues that the independence leaders sentenced to lengthy prison sentences last week were given a fair trial, “with all their rights and safeguards.”
The video went on to say, “In Spain, there are no political prisoners, the defendants have not been prosecuted for their ideas, but for their unlawful acts.” A cartoon image of the Esquerra Republicana leader Oriol Junqueras in a thief’s clothing —wearing striped pajamas and a mask— is then shown in the promotional video.
The Spanish ministry of foreign affairs has admitted the “error" and explained that they did not intend to “hurt anyone" by sharing the content on social networks.
"We did not intend to hurt anyone, not even those who describe us as a fascist state exercising their right to freedom of expression," the Spanish government office said.
The Supreme Court verdict that condemned the independence leaders to jail terms sparked major protests across Catalonia, with many people arrested and hundreds injured after police and demonstrators clashed in the ensuing days.