Spain defines BDS as protected speech

The Spanish parliament has unanimously passed a motion recognizing the right to advocate for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as protected under the right to freedom of expression and association.

Unidos Podemos (progressive parliamentary coalition) said: “On June 27th the International Cooperation Committee of the Spanish Congress unanimously approved a motion “to recognize and defend the right of human rights activists from Palestine, Israel and other countries to engage in legal and peaceful activities, protected by the right to freedom of speech and assembly, such as the right to promote boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns.”

Spain must now uphold those rights and act against the harassment of activists engaged in peaceful, legal and legitimate campaigns against the violation of human rights in Palestine. It has joined Federica Mogherini (EU Vice-President and High Representative), the Governments of Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden, and the Parliament of Navarre.

Ana Sanchez, International Campaigns Officer with the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) said: “This is a victory for all those acting on their conscience by participating in the BDS movement for Palestinian human rights. As boycotts, divestments and sanctions campaigns continue to grow around the world, state institutions in Europe, the United States and beyond are increasingly affirming the right of their citizens to participate in the BDS movement to advance Palestinian human rights. Dozens of Spanish cities have declared themselves “Free of Israeli Apartheid,” joining the existing network of more than 70 Spanish public institutions, including provincial councils and a regional parliament, that have long taken a position against Israeli Apartheid.

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