Spanish govt under attack over undercover police tactics  

Barcelona - The Spanish government is under fire over allegations police officers infiltrated far-left and green groups and had sex with activists to win their trust and gain information. The scandal broke when Catalan media La Directa reported in January that a police officer going by the name of Daniel Hernandez had sexual relations with various members of a Barcelona squat and far-left movements since 2020. The intimate relations in one case lasted nearly a year, according to the alternative publication based in the Catalan capital. Six women have filed a complaint against the officer, accusing him of sexual abuse. They argue their sexual consent was obtained on the basis of lies. One of the women’s lawyers, Mireia Salazar, told AFP the goal of the complaint was “to know how far these practices go, which in our opinion, have no legal justification.” The scandal deepened after the Madrid branch of climate activist group Extinction Rebellion said last week it had been infiltrated by a female police officer who “had sexual relations with at least one of its members”. The affair recalls the case in Britain of Kate Wilson, an environmental activist who was tricked into a sexual relationship with an undercover officer for nearly two years. In a landmark ruling in 2021, a tribunal concluded that the police had violated her human rights. In Spain the Hernandez case has sparked outrage, especially in the northeastern region of Catalonia which sparked the country’s worst political crisis in decades in 2017 with a failed independence push. It comes after Spain’s central government admitted last year that it spied on the mobile phones of 18 Catalan separatist leaders using Israeli spyware Pegasus.


ePaper - Nawaiwaqt