Spain: Government defends police conduct during Catalan referendum

The Spanish Minister of Interior Juan Ignacio Zoido defended the conduct of Spanish police and Civil Guard officers during the Catalan independence referendum of October 1, calling their actions "legal, legitimate and proportionate" at a Senate hearing in Madrid on Thursday.

The minister also criticised the Mossos d'Esquadra, the Catalan regional police, for their "absolute passivity" and what he saw as their lack of collaboration on October 1.

Police conduct had been brought under scrutiny after numerous allegations emerged of officers using violence against people attempting to vote at polling stations.

The Spanish government maintains that it acted in accordance within the law, insisting that security forces were ordered “to adopt the necessary measures to impede the holding of the referendum."

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