A measure that would be contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Pedro Sánchez imitates a measure of the Putin regime to limit press freedom

A few days ago I warned here about Sanchez's attack on freedom of information in the midst of his party's corruption scandals.

Seven uncomfortable questions that Sánchez tries to avoid with his attacks on the media
Sánchez wants to muzzle the media he does not control: we will not shut up!

Sánchez proposes "collegiate journalism to avoid intrusion"

Today, the socialist newspaper El País publishes an interview with the president of the government in which He asks: "About disinformation, what is the plan? Because this is a global problem. National solutions, like the law that France passed, have not worked." In his response, Sánchez slips the following:

"The Department of National Security, which depends on the Government of Spain, proposed a national forum against disinformation, and other proposals came out, such as college journalism to avoid intrusion."

A measure that violates Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

This debate on the membership (understood to be mandatory) of journalism is not new in Spain. Some journalists' colleges already proposed it years ago, but it was never implemented. In Latin America there has also been a debate about it and in some countries rulings have been issued rejecting this measure. This mandatory membership would be incompatible with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Franco's dictatorship already did something similar to limit press freedom

Sanchez's proposal is a copy of the measures taken by the Franco dictatorship to control the exercise of journalism. Already before the end of the Spanish Civil War, in 1938 in the national zone was created a press law that established an "Official Registry of Journalists" in which all those who wanted to practice that profession were obliged to register. This record was maintained in the law that created the Statute of the Journalistic Profession in 1967. This Official Registry of Journalists was dissolved in 1982.

Sánchez's cynical mention of the Putin regime

Obviously, like the mandatory registration created by the Franco regime, Sánchez's proposal does not aim to avoid professional "intrusion", but rather to control journalism, just as that dictatorship did. That he does so by appealing to "national security" sounds like a bad joke, especially reading what Sánchez says below:

"Until now it has been thought that disinformation came from outside, for example, from the Putin regime. The problem, and this is the challenge, is that we have those actors within our country like Trojan horses against our own democracy and that is something that we have to make known to the citizens."

Sánchez's mention of Putin is very cynical, since his amnesty law, openly unconstitutional, would prevent judicial investigation of the Russian plot that helped Catalan separatism in its coup 2017.

The Putin regime imposed a measure very similar to the one proposed by Sánchez

In addition, it must be remembered that in Russia there is an official media registry, called Roskomnadzor, which in 2014 was also applied to blog authors who have more than 3,000 readers. Violators face fines of up to 30,000 rubles in the case of natural persons and up to 300,000 rubles in the case of legal entities.

Sánchez is right when he warns against "Trojan horses against our own democracy." But he forgets to say that he is one of them, with his attacks on press freedom and judicial independence and with his violations of the Constitution.


Photo: La Moncloa.

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