Spain: Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in opposition to legislation that proposes hefty fines for burning Spain’s flag or holding protests outside government buildings. [Opponents of the bill say it is an attempt to muzzle protesters from speaking out about the financial crisis.]

Spain’s new security law sparks protests across country

Human rights groups say law is parliament’s attempt to ‘gag’ public and muzzle protests over its handling of country’s financial crisis

The new law allows fines of up to €30,000 for disseminating photographs of police officers that are deemed to endanger them or their operations.

Individuals participating in demonstrations outside parliament buildings or key installations could be fined up to €600,000, if they are considered to breach the peace. Those insulting police officers could be fined up €600. Burning a national flag could cost the perpetrator a maximum fine of €30,000.

El_Pais reports that 82% of citizens wanted to change or kill Spain’s new proposed public security bill

The law [HRW report; text, PDF in Spanish], which was approved last Thursday by the Spanish parliament [official website], is highly controversial and has been criticized as a specific way for the government to silence protesters of its handling of the country’scurrent financial crisis [BBC backgrounder].

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