Statewatch article: RefNo# 36562
SPAIN: Fined with the Gag Law for carrying a bag with the face of a cat and the abbreviation A.C.A.B.
Statewatch News Online, May 2016
Belén Lobeto was returning to her house in Madrid last Sunday when she was stopped by two police officers who asked for her documentation and subsequently said they were going to fine her. The motive: a black fabric shoulder bag bearing the face of a cat and the abbreviation A.C.A.B, along with the words "All Cats Are Beautiful". The police's report stated that the abbreviation signifies "All Cops Are Bastards".

When the two agents from the Unidad de Intervención Policial (Police Intervention Unit, known as an anti-riot squad) gave her the notification of the fine - which they did not sign - Lobeto explained to them without success that what they had written in the report did not correspond with what was written on her bag.

According to the police's note, Lobeto "exhibited a bag with the abbreviation A.C.A.B. (All Cops Are Bastards)."

The fine was given under Article 37.4 of the Law on Citizen Security, popularly known as the Ley Mordaza or Gag Law, which came into force in July 2015 and is opposed by all Spain's opposition parties (it was introduced by the conservative Partido Popular or Popular Party, currently acting as the caretaker government before elections are held).

Amongst other things, the law created an administrative offence of "lack of respect and consideration directed towards a member of the forces and bodies of security in the exercise of their functions of protection of security," the penalty for which is a fine of between 100 and 600 euros. The next step is for the government delegation in the city to determine whether the fine will proceed or not.


Marta Borraz, Multada con la Ley Mordaza por llevar un bolso con la cara de un gato y las siglas A.C.A.B.,, 23 May 2016

UPDATE 27 May 2016

According to a Tweet posted by Belén Lobeto (link), no further action will be taken by the authorities in relation to the police's attempts to fine her.

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