The Catalan journalist Jordi Borràs was attacked on Monday evening by a Spanish police officer who reportedly shouted ‘long live Spain’ and ‘long live Franco’ when assaulting the photographer.
Spanish police opened a file on the officer, although no further measures are expected until a court rules on the two lawsuits presented by Borràs and his assailant. The officer claims that Borràs was the one who recognised him and shouted ‘fuck the police’ and ‘fuck Spain’.
Borràs, one of Catalonia’s most popular photojournalists, was attacked in Barcelona right after covering the presentation of a new pro-independence platform led by president Quim Torra and his predecessor Carles Puigdemont.
Borràs is the author of the book, ‘Dies que duraran anys’ (Days that will last for years), focusing on last October’s independence referendum and the violent intervention by Spanish police that left more than 1,000 people reportedly injured.
President Torra, who gave the book to Spain’s King Felipe VI in a recent meeting, expressed his support for the journalist via Twitter. ‘Dear Jordi Borràs, all my support and solidarity. We’ll demand an investigation to resolve all responsibilities.’
An expert on Spain’s far-right groups, Borràs has been repeatedly threatened over the past few years. The leader of the Democracia Nacional party called him a ‘rat’ and urged his supporters to slap him on the back of the neck, but ‘not very violently’ in order to avoid being arrested.
Barcelona mayor Ada Colau also showed his support for Borràs, and said that the capital of Catalonia ‘is an anti-fascist city that rejects all kinds of violence’.
The city council subsequently announced that it was entering an appearance in the proceedings. Deputy mayor Jaume Asens stressed the importance of protecting ‘vulnerable groups which are threatened by hatred’.
‘We can’t normalize raised arms [doing the fascist salute], intended fires or repeated attacks by far-right groups in our city,’ he said. According to Asens, figures show there have been more than 100 attacks in Catalonia.