UN human rights chief urges probe into violence during referendum in Catalonia

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. UN Photo/Jean-Marc Ferré

2 October 2017 – The top United Nations human rights official urged today the authorities in Spain to ensure thorough, independent and impartial investigations into all acts of violence that took place Sunday during a referendum on the independence of Catalonia.

“I am very disturbed by the violence in Catalonia on Sunday,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a statement.

According to media reports, police raided polling stations, and hundreds of people were injured.

“Police responses must at all times be proportionate and necessary,” Mr. Zeid said, stressing that the current situation should be resolved through political dialogue, with full respect for democratic freedoms.

He called the Spanish Government to accept without delay the requests by relevant UN human rights experts to visit.


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