A woman in southeastern Spain who posted on Facebook a photo of a police car parked in a handicapped spot is now facing a fine of nearly $900 under a controversial new law.
She captioned it: “You park wherever your balls feel like it and, on top of that, they don’t fine you for it.”
The woman, who has since removed the image, posted the picture last week to community page devoted to life in Petrer, Alicante. Less than 48 hours later, she was paid a call by police officers and issued a ticket for 800 euros, the English-language paper, The Local, reported.
The Citizen Security Law, which went into effect on July 1 and is known among its critics as the “citizen gag law,” forbids 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,” according to the Independent.
The new law is widely opposed by Spaniards across the country, who call it repressive because it also limits the right to demonstrate.
The woman’s name was not released and her Facebook handle has been redacted from reposts of her original message.
Qué opináis? #JS Una mujer fotografía un coche policial en una plaza de minúsvalido… y le aplican a ella la ‘ley...
The local news site, Petrer al Día, spoke with city councilman Fernando Portillo, who had knowledge of the incident. He explained that the officers had been responding to a call about an act of vandalism, and “they parked where they could” in hope of catching the delinquents red-handed.
Asked how the post qualified as jeopardizing police officers or operations, he answered, “We would have preferred a different solution, but the police have the legal right to impose the fine.”
According to The Local, a fine of up to $638,000 could be issued for unauthorized protests near key infrastructure, including transportation hubs or nuclear power plants.