Spanish police used only “limited force” against Catalonians during the October 1 independence referendum, Spanish Foreign Minister said in an interview with BBC, claiming that many pictures showing police violence were “fake.”
“I don’t think there [was] any brutal situation,” Alfonso Dastis told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, speaking about clashes between police and Catalans on the day of the vote.
“Many of those pictures [showing police violence] have been proven to be fake,” Dastis said, “If there was a use of force, it was a limited one.”
While admitting not all of the footage could possibly be manipulated he insisted that “but some of [the pictures] are,” adding that “there have been a lot of alternative facts and fake news” about the independence referendum.
“According to some pictures there was some use of force. It was not a deliberate use of force, it was a provoked use of force,” the Spanish Foreign Minister said.
Thousands of extra officers from the National Police and Civil Guard were deployed to Catalonia amid tensions over the independence vote. The vote was held October 1, despite Madrid calling it “unconstitutional.” The police crackdown during the vote resulted in over 800 people being injured across the region, according to Catalonia’s Health Department.