After posting a picture of a police car illegally parked, a woman in Spain now faces a massive fine.
The woman, who declined to be named but is from the Spanish city of Petrer in the Alicante province, posted the photo on her Facebook page last week. She commented on the photo, saying, "Park where you bloody well please and you won't even be fined," according to Petrer al Dia, Newsweek reports.
Although the woman later deleted the picture from her page, within 48 hours police found her and issued a fine equivalent to around $900. A spokesman for the police stated that the woman was fined because the officers felt their honor had been attacked.
This incident is a result of Spain’s controversial new “gagging law” known as the Citizens Security Law. With this new regulation, the government limits what people can post on social networks.
The law also prevents "the unauthorized use of images of police officers that might jeopardize their or their family's safety or that of protected facilities or police operations," Yahoo Tech documents. Fines incurred can be anywhere between $125 and $665,000, notes Newsweek.
The law, which came into effect on July 1, has already drawn much criticism. Some in Spain even claim it is the worst attack on rights since the dictatorship of the fascist General Francisco Franco. When the parliament approved the law last year, thousands in Spain took to the streets to protest.
"As a citizen who pays his taxes, I believe that I have the right to express my opinion over a government decision," said Eduardo Diaz, who was also fined under the law, Newsweek documents.
"It gives a huge amount of power to the police," Ignacio Jovtis of Amnesty International explained to Newsweek. "We are concerned these provisions will make people scared to go to demonstrations or speak out because they are afraid they will be fined."
Despite the criticism, the government continues to stand by the law.
"Demonstrations will be freer because they will be protected from violent elements," the ruling Popular Party stated. Additionally, Spain's Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said that the law should "only worry the violent ones," Newsweek reports.