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The Spanish National Police Force apply the “Gagging Act” to a cyclist for speaking to them in Valencian

Jafet Pinedo reported the officers for abuse of power, false arrest, verbal aggression and false allegations

The officers' trial, set for this morning, could not be held because they failed to appear

Plataforma per la Llengua is advising and supporting the victim

In June, when the takeaway food delivery rider Jafet Pinedo was cycling through Elche and had to overtake two cars occupying the cycle lane, he complained to the drivers about their attitude, telling them sarcastically, "You're in a good place aren't you?". A few metres further on, Pinedo was stopped by one of the cars. Two men got out and identified themselves as Spanish National Police Force officers. Pinedo, from Elche, who was not carrying his identity card, said he was arrested and taken, with insults, to the National Police Force station. There, the officers reported him for refusing to identify himself, because he was not carrying his documents, even though he had given them his identity card number orally; "laughing at the officers"; and "speaking in Valencian even though the agents asked him to speak Spanish".

Plataforma per la Llengua has offered Pinedo its support and advice, although initially he received support from the local pro-Valencian-language association El Tempir. Plataforma said that "the police report against Jafet Pinedo represents a flagrant breach of the Basic Statute of Public Employees, which makes it quite clear that the security forces, as public servants, have to guarantee to provide attention to citizens in whichever official language they request". Plataforma per la Llengua also warns that the allegations against Jafet Pinedo represent the application of Article 36.6 of the Public Security Act, better known as the "Gagging Act".

For these reasons, Pinedo reported the two National Police Force officers to the Elche Court of Instruction Number 4, accusing them of abuse of power, false arrest, verbal aggression and false allegations. Today, 24 July, the trial could not be held on the date set because the National Police Force officers failed to appear. More than 50 people gathered in front of the Elche court in support of Pinedo.


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