Expert sees issues with Spain’s rebellion charge

A human rights expert says Spain should avoid pursuing “rebellion” charges against Catalan separatists, highlighting the differences between protest and dissent and actual acts of violence.
The U.N.’s human rights office in a statement Friday noted a conviction on the criminal charge of rebellion can carry up to 30 years in prison in Spain.
The expert, David Kaye, says “prosecutions for ‘rebellion’ that could lead to lengthy jail sentences raise serious risks of deterring wholly legitimate speech.”
Kaye says he is “concerned that charges of rebellion for acts that do not involve violence or incitement to violence may interfere with rights of public protest and dissent.”
Kaye is an independent rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression mandated by the U.N.-backed Human Rights Council. He does not speak for the U.N.