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Spain considering ban on photographing, filming police on duty

 
 
 
 
 
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Protesters clash with riot policemen during a demonstration in Madrid, Spain.

Spain is considering a law that aims to ban photographing, filming or reproducing images of the country’s members of police and state security forces while they are on duty, officials say.

Spain’s Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said that the government is considering the ban on capturing, playing back and processing of images, sounds or data of Spanish security forces who are “in the exercise of their functions.”

The government’s plan which was unveiled on Friday comes amid a crackdown on protests against harsh austerity measures and spending cuts across the debt-wracked country.

Critics consider the measure as a violation of the freedom of speech in the country, but the Spanish officials insist that it is needed to uphold “dignity of police and security forces.”

The Spanish government has also been sharply criticized over the austerity policies that are hitting the middle and working classes the hardest.

The government has already cut public services and social benefits, while raising taxes which have eaten into people’s livelihoods.

Public protests have grown in the country over speculation that the government will seek a Greek-style European bailout to keep its borrowing costs in check.

Over the past few months anti-austerity demonstrations have turned violent in Spanish cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, as well as in rural mining locations in the north.

Battered by the global financial downturn, the Spanish economy collapsed into recession in the second half of 2008, destroying millions of jobs.

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