• Rally in Madrid against law on right to protest

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    MADRID: About two thousand people marched to the rhythm of drums in Madrid on Tuesday against a controversial new Spanish law that regulates the right to demonstrate.

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    Nicknamed the “gag law” by its detractors, it comes into force on Wednesday, after being denounced by a number of NGOs, lawyers’ associations and journalists.
    The law provides for fines of up to 600,000 euros ($670,000) for some non-authorised protests.
    It stipulates fines of up to 30,000 euros for public disorder offences. Those barring efforts to evict insolvent families from their homes could also face the same penalty.
    A “lack of respect” for a police officer could be punished with a fine of 600 euros.
    “They want all of us to be silent, for no one to protest,” said Juan Sánchez, a 21-year-old student, draped in a republican flag from before the civil war, a traditional symbol of the Spanish left.
    “With the ‘gag law’ brought into force, the practice of journalism will be less free,” said the Madrid Press Association in a statement.
    AFP

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