A woman in Spain has been fined €800 (£570) for posting a photo of a police car parked in a disabled parking space.
She was fined in accordance with the country’s controversial new gagging law recently introduced to protect police officers.
The unnamed woman had posted the image on her Facebook page saying: “Park where you bloody well please and you won’t even be fined.”
The police tracked her down within 48 hours and fined her.
RT reports: Under Spain’s Citizens Security Law, “the unauthorized use of images of police officers that might jeopardize their or their family’s safety or that of protected facilities or police operations” is prohibited. Offenders face fines ranging from €600 to €30,000.
Local police spokesman Fernando Portillo explained that the officers had to park in the disabled bay because they had arrived to deal with a vandalism case in a nearby park and were in a hurry to catch the perpetrators. He added that in urgent situations the police have to park where they can.
The woman’s photograph was taken as a blow to the officers’ “honor,” and the incident was reported to town hall authorities for this reason, Portillo said. The city chose to impose a fine, although, as the spokesman claimed, they would have preferred “a different solution.”
The controversial law which was introduced on July 1 is often referred to as “the gagging law” . It prohibits protests near the state’s parliament or the senate and can fines those in breach up to €600,000.
Criticized as an expansion of the Spanish government’s authority to restrict freedom of speech the law has also been condemned by Amnesty International.