Spain/Galicia: EsCULcA publishes critical report on the implications of the Pope's visit to Santiago de Compostela

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In December 2010, the Galician observatory on civil liberties EsCULcA published a report detailing the effects which the visit on 6 November 2010 of the Catholic Pope Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) and the special security measures adopted by the authorities had on civil liberties in the city. Its criticism includes authorities' failure to respect constitutional rights such as the principle of religious neutrality of public authorities and the separation between State and Church, and restrictions to the rights of free assembly, the freedom to demonstrate and for citizens to move around their city without interference in the form of sealed-off areas, identification and searches of their belongings.

Abuses by police officers are also alleged, including citizens being made to remove banners criticising the visit, home searches of people who exposed such banners and the mistreatment or obstruction of journalists' work.

Report on the visit of Joseph Ratzinger to Santiago de Compostela (English) [1st doc].
Dossier sobre a visita de Joseph Ratzinger a Compostela (Galician) [2nd doc].

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