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Pro-independence flags will now be allowed at Copa del Rey final

Those supporters who carry pro-independence flags at the Copa del Rey final will be able to access the stadium. The judge of judiciary number 11 of Madrid accepted the appeal presented by lawyers' group 'Drets', which called for the “automatic suspension” of the Spanish government’s decision to ban the flags during the football match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC. Thus, according to the resolution, the cautionary measure requested by ‘Drets’ has been “partially estimated” and therefore “the execution of the appealed action is suspended”. The decision announced by the Spanish government’s Delegate in Madrid, Concepción Dancausa, triggered much criticism amongst civil society but also from most of the political parties. FC Barcelona also presented a lawsuit which is still being studied by another judge in Madrid

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20 May 2016 06:23 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- The judge of judiciary number 11 of Madrid has suspended the prohibition on carrying pro-independence flags at the Copa del Rey final between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC. Thus, Judge Jesús Torres accepted the appeal presented by lawyers' group 'Drets', which called for the “automatic suspension” of the decision announced this Wednesday by the Spanish government’s Delegate in Madrid, Concepción Dancausa. According to the resolution, the cautionary measure requested by ‘Drets’ has been “partially estimated” and therefore “the execution of the appealed action is suspended”. The prohibition on exhibiting ‘estelades’ during the Copa del Rey final triggered much criticism amongst civil society but also from most of the political parties. The Catalan President, Carles Puigdemont, described the prohibition of as “a grave attack on freedom of expression” and assured that he “won't attend the final until the right of expression of Barça’s supporters is respected”.


FC Barcelona also presented a lawsuit against the decision to ban pro-independence flags during the Copa del Rey match. This appeal hasn’t yet been resolved and is currently being studied by another judge in Madrid. Thus, the suspension is still not irrevocable and depends on the decision of Judge Eusebio Palacios Grijalbo, from judiciary number 15 of Madrid, as he could adopt different criteria than those of his colleague.

Appeal presented on behalf of Barça supporter

The appeal presented by ‘Drets’ was on behalf of a Barça supporters who has a ticket for attending the Copa del Rey final this Sunday at Vicente Calderón Stadium in Madrid. The lawsuit established that the decision to ban pro-independence flags violated “the right to freely issue thoughts, ideas and opinions through speech, writing or any other means”. The appeal specified that the supporter wanted to “attend the event with his ‘estelada’”, and thus “his right to freedom of expression and ideological freedom was directly affected”. 

The lawsuit also emphasised that Catalonia’s pro-independence flag was recognised by the Catalan Parliament as “a symbol of a wish and a democratic vindication, which is legitimate, legal and non-violent”.

“A technical decision”

Current Spanish Vice-President, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, assured that the decision announced by the Spanish government’s Delegate in Madrid, Concepción Dancausa, responded to “technical reasons” rather than having any “political” motivation. In the same vein, Dancausa emphasised that the decision to ban pro-independence flags was taken with police agents and representatives from the Real Spanish Football Federation in order to “guarantee the security” in the stadium. Dancausa assured that she “accepts” the judge’s resolution despite not sharing it and rejected any retraction of her decision. 

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  • Barça supporters showing 'estelades', Catalonia's pro-independence flag (by ACN)

  • Barça supporters showing 'estelades', Catalonia's pro-independence flag (by ACN)