A Spanish woman is given a jail sentence for posting jokes on Twitter about a Franco-era assassination

A Spanish woman is given a jail sentence for posting jokes on Twitter about a Franco-era assassination

Cassandra Vera, a 21 year old History student, has been found guilty of glorifying terrorism in her tweets about the ETA killing of Prime Minister Carrero Blanco.

PODEMOS demands the introduction of a Criminal Law amendment to ensure that a case such as this can never be repeated.

Spain’s highest criminal court for cases of terrorism, the Audiencia Nacional, has sen-tenced a young Spanish woman to a one-year jail term and a seven-year disqualification period for posting jokes on Twitter about the attack on Carrero Blanco. Cassandra Vera has been accused under an article of the criminal law which, although designed to counter the glorification of terrorism in social media, is being used to curtail the freedom of expression of artists and Twitter users.

Between 2013 and 2016 Vera posted 13 tweets about the assassination of Carrero Blanco by the armed group ETA. The attack took place on December 20, 1973. A powerful bomb explosion blew the car in which the dictator was travelling into the air and over the roof of a nearby building, killing him instantly. 44 years later, jokes about this event have now been judged to be glorifying terrorism crimes. And we mustn’t forget that for over 40 years these same jokes have been repeated time and again without any adverse consequences.

The political party Podemos has demanded from the government an amendment to the Criminal Law. “This is absurd”, Podemos Secretary General Pablo Iglesias replied when asked about the sentence, “you fight terrorism by controlling tax havens. You don’t trivial-ize it by persecuting a twitter user”.

This is not the first time that this article of the criminal law has been used to prosecute artists and social media activists. Only last year two puppeteers spent several days in prison, their puppets confiscated by the police, for using the word ETA in a pun during a carnival performance.

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