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Spain: Head of Journalist Association Threatens Activist With a Belt

The Head of the Press Association in Granada, Antonio Mora, was presenting a photo exhibition in Granada, Spain, of the relations between Israel and Spain on Tuesday, March 6, when anti-occupation activists from an organization called Plataforma Andalucía con Palestina (Platform Andalucia with Palestine) entered the room. They held Palestinian flags and started chanting “Boycott Israel” and “No to Zionist impositions” in protest against Spain's support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine through these kind of institutional events.

The activists did not leave when Mora told them to keep quiet, visibly impatient and irritated by their presence. What happened next? The answer is so surreal that you should see it by yourselves. Here is the link to the video.

Screenshot of the video in the moment when Antonio Mora holds his belt as he walks towards the activist.

Shockingly, Mora removes his belt and raises it as if to strike one of the women with it, while a second woman records the scene with her mobile phone. A few seconds later he drops the belt and tries to push the other woman out of the room.

The fact that this reaction comes from the head of a press association has sparked shock and disbelief among Spanish netizens, who have flooded Twitter with comments and even created a hashtag with the Head´s name: #antoniomora.  Spanish journalist Juan Luis Sánchez tweeted:

Lo que da miedo no es que se ponga violento, sino su gesto de sacarse la correa y doblarla friamente. Como si lo hubiera hecho antes.
What is so scary is not that he gets violent, but how he takes off his belt and then folds it in a cold way. As if he had done this before.

Journalist Lydia Molina agrees:

Lo más perturbador es la tranquilidad con la que se quita la correa para pegarle a la chavala. No será la primera vez.

What's extremely disturbing is how calmly he takes off his belt to hit the girl. It is probably not the first time.

The Journalists Union of Andalucía has demanded Mora's resignation [es]. Mora has since resigned [es]. According to the Union's representatives:

Consideramos esta conducta inaceptable por entender que la actitud del Presidente de la Asociación es más propia de otros tiempos vividos en España durante la dictadura franquista en la que a mujeres, niños y animales se les pretendía corregir sus actitudes o castigar a golpes de correa.
We consider this behavior unacceptable. This reminds us of the times we lived in Spain during Franco's dictatorship, where women, children and animals where punished when their behavior was considered unappropriate.
  • Anna Jones

    As much as I abhor this display of violence, I can help but wonder: were these two activists legally allowed to protest in the middle of a presentation, whatever it was about? It’s obvious they are not on the streets of Granada, but inside what it looks like a very pretty building. Is this legally allowed in Spain?

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