City Council’s outright rejection of the court ruling on the La Manada case

Before the Full City Council Meeting was held, the Mayor read out an institutional declaration, accompanied by representatives from all municipal groups, to express the city’s rejection of the ruling given out by the Provincial Court of Navarre absolving the five men accused of the crime of sexual assault.

27/04/2018 18:33 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The institutional responses to the conviction of the La Manada members for sexual abuse continued with undue influence, but not for rape. Ignoring the violence and intimidation that had occurred, the court sentenced the accused men to prison for nine years followed by a five-year probation after serving their sentence. One of the judges, what is more, was in favour of absolving the accused of all their crimes, apart from the minor offence of theft.

The institutional declaration states that the ruling trivialises the facts, as it fails to regard them as sexual assault; it puts the burden of proof on the victim, as it focuses on her behaviour instead of her assailants’; it encourages impunity for male sex assaults, and sends a message discrediting the experience of women who have been assaulted. Finally, it highlights the inconsistency in considering that the sexual abuse described in the account of the facts can occur in the absence of violence or intimidation.

These facts have led the City Council to call on the Spanish Parliament to: amend the Penal Code and review its examples of sexual abuse, give unconditional support to the victims of sexual assaults and all forms of social protest against this ruling, and issue a statement to the Provincial Criminal Court of Navarre, to the Spanish Ministry of Justice and to the General Council of the Spanish Judiciary.

Protests against gender violence

Once the ruling was announced, thousands of people from all around Spain took to the streets to express their indignation by shouting out “This is no abuse, this is rape “. Plaça de Sant Jaume in Barcelona was packed with people protesting against gender violence, leading to a demonstration that ended at Passeig de Lluís Companys.

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