Misc 17/07/2018

Catalan photojournalist Jordi Borràs beaten by Spanish policeman

El País reports that Internal Affairs has launched a probe but the officer involved has not been suspended

2 min
El fotoperiodista Jordi Borràs, agredit per un individu que s’ha identificat com a policia espanyol

BarcelonaAccording to the Madrid-based daily, the man who assaulted photojournalist Jordi Borràs in the centre of Barcelona on Monday is a Spanish police officer. The Internal Affairs division has launched a probe into the incident to be concluded once there is a court ruling on the case. So for now the officer has not been suspended and he remains on his desk job. If he is found guilty, he will face a disciplinary procedure. Police sources have confirmed the authenticity of the police badge the officer flashed when he was being restrained by passers-by immediately after the attack.

As reported initially by online newspaper Elmon.cat (the news outlet where Jordi Borràs works), the incident took place in Barcelona’s carrer Capellans, at about 8 pm, after Borràs had been working at the presentation of Crida Nacional per la República. Speaking for TV3, the Catalan photojournalist explained that the assailant recognised him and jumped him while he shouted “Long live Spain” and “Long live Franco!” punching him a number of times and breaking his nose. The police officer, however, has filed a complaint against Borràs claiming that the journalist recognised him and shouted “F*** the police!” and “F*** Spain!”.

Once the assailant has been named, the Catalan police will start their investigation following Borras’ complaint against the Spanish police officer, which was filed on Tuesday morning. Several political leaders have voiced their sympathy for Borràs, including Catalan president Quim Torra, the Speaker of the House, Roger Torrent, former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and Barcelona mayor Ada Colau.

As an investigative journalist, Jordi Borràs specialises in the field of far-right groups in Catalonia and has received death threats on many occasions dating back to 2013. For instance, Pedro Chaparro, the leader of Democracia Nacional [a Spanish fascist group] once called Borràs “a rat” and encouraged demonstrators on October 12 [Spain’s national holiday] to “give him a good thumping, but not too hard because you don’t wanna get busted”. “Give him a good one and then let him go”, he added. Chaparro was arrested over the attack on the Catalan government’s office in Madrid in 2013 and received a one-year sentence for encouraging or promoting hatred against Borràs.