Catalan referendum: Police must not use excessive or disproportionate force

Responding to clashes between police and protesters around yesterday's Catalan referendum, John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia Director said:

"Spanish police have clearly been obstructed in the exercise of their duties at numerous polling stations today, but there is plenty of footage to suggest that police officers have used excessive and disproportionate force at at least some of them. With tensions running high, it is essential that both Spanish law and international human rights law is respected.

“Spanish police must avoid the excessive use of force; and whenever the lawful use of force is unavoidable, they must use it with restraint and in proportion to the seriousness of the law enforcement objective.”

A delegation of Amnesty International researchers has been deployed in Catalonia to monitor respect for human rights. The organization will publish more detailed findings today.