Hasél case

Home Affairs to meet tomorrow with the Mossos to address "tension" in the police force

The police unions have denounced in a statement that they are "on the edge" after four nights of riots and the critical reception for their actions.

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Demonstration in Barcelona against the imprisonment of Pablo Hasél on February 17. Manolo Garcia

BarcelonaThe Department of Home Affairs has agreed to meet tomorrow, Sunday, with the unions of the Mossos d'Esquadra, after they have warned in a statement of the "great tension" that exists within the force as a result of the critical reception for their actions in the protests over the imprisonment of Pablo Hasél, in which since Tuesday 63 people have been arrested throughout Catalonia, the last four yesterday in Barcelona and Girona.

The meeting will be held in the morning, at a time yet to be announced, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Home Affairs, and responds to the union's request for an "urgent meeting" with the only point on the agenda to address the discomfort that the lack of support from the Minister Miquel Sàmper and the whole of the Government is leaving in the police force, who have received the support of the police commanders, with Major Josep Lluís Trapero at the forefront. Since the first riots broke out on Tuesday in the protests in solidarity with the Lleida rapper, the Mossos have felt alone and messages have even circulated on the networks from police officers denouncing the lack of personnel and resources to deal with the hundreds of demonstrators who, at the end of the protests, provoke riots on the streets.

"The mood within our collective is very tense and we, the trade union organisations that represent the force and that, in short, are the ones that always watch over social peace within the Mossos d'Esquadra, are already at the limit of being able to guarantee this peace", the police unions maintain in a statement.

During the whole week, Sàmper has only referred on one occasion to the protests and has done so to demand an "urgent" review of the model of public order because, he said, it could not be repeated that in a demonstration someone loses an eye, in relation to the eye loss suffered by a 19-year-old girl allegedly due to the impact of a foam bullet shot by an agent, although the Mossos are still investigating it. These statements were in line with what JuntsxCat - they run the Home Affairs Department - and the CUP said, who, in the midst of negotiations for the formation of the Parliament and the Government, have questioned the actions of the force.

From ERC, the vice president of the Government, Pere Aragonès, had backed the Mossos but had also aligned with those who demand changes in police protocols, but this Saturday the formation has opted for clarification in an "agile and diligent investigation" to see if during the demonstrations there have been "bad practices" and has insisted, in a statement, that "the right to demonstrate must always be guaranteed".

On the other hand, PSC-Unidos deputy Ramon Espadaler called on the government to give "protection" and "explicit" support to the Mossos and criticised the opportunity to raise a debate on the police model now. "The Mossos need a government by their side" said the former CiU minister of Home Affairs from 2012 to 2015, who also took the opportunity to condemn the riots.

In the midst of the political discrepancies, Ada Colau has distanced herself by calling for peace hours before a new demonstration this Saturday afternoon - the fifth - in support of Hásel, and in which the police expect more riots to take place.