Home Affairs admits "everything indicates" foam bullet caused protester to lose eye

Minister explains medical report pending, but that "projectiles were being fired"

2 min
Manifestants help woman wounded by foam bullet

BarcelonaThe Department of the Interior admits for the first time that "everything indicates" that a foam bullet caused a 19-year-old girl to lose an eye in the first protest in Barcelona for the imprisonment of Pablo Hasél. This is the thesis that Irídia had defended, but until now the official version had been limited to saying that the cause was being investigated. Catalan Minister for Home Affairs Miquel Sàmper has explained this Monday that the report is "practically closed" with the medical report pending. According to the police report, when the girl was hit in the eye, "projectiles were being fired" by the Catalan police, known as the Mossos d'Esquadra. In an interview on Radio 4 and La 2, Sàmper has advanced that if the thesis of the foam bullet is confirmed, the protocol of the Generalitat will be activated to compensate the girl.

Until now the spokesman of the Mossos, the commissioner Joan Carles Molinero, had announced that the police had delivered a first report to the director of the body on this first protest, which took place on Tuesday, February 16 on Barcelona's Via Augusta, to be sent to the Division of Internal Affairs. Molinero, however, did not give details of the contents of the report and added that it would be forwarded to the court that has opened an investigation with the medical report of the loss of the girl's eye. Hospital Clínic's report points out that the injury is due to a scenario of public disorder, without specifying the cause.

As for the mobilisation of Saturday, in which a van of the Guardia Urbana of Barcelona was burned, Sàmper has reported that 14 people have been arrested for the riots and one is "directly related" to the action against the police vehicle. It is an Italian woman who is attributed with the responsibility of spraying the van with flammable liquid.

Searches in the Maresme

In fact, the Mossos are searching this morning two warehouses in Mataró and Canet de Mar, in the Maresme, where people related to the riots of recent days lived. The operation has been authorised by a court in Barcelona. The one in Mataró is a warehouse that has been squatted for years and has caused conflicts for some time; the one in Canet is an old factory.