Spain investigates malicious Tweets about air crash

25th March 2015, Comments 1 comment

The Spanish government said Wednesday it was hunting for the authors of malicious jokes on Twitter about the victims of the air crash in the French Alps.

"If they were all Germans and Catalans, what is the tragedy?" wrote one user, flagging the Tweet with the hashtag #Germanwings.

"It is not the first time the social networks are used for hate speech," which is punishable under Spain's penal code, said junior security minister Francisco Martinez.

"The interior ministry has ordered an investigation to establish possible criminal responsibility for messages posted on social networks," he told a news conference.

"As well as expressing tremendous cruelty, they may constitute crimes which will have to be investigated and referred to the justice system."

Many of the messages appeared to target Catalans, inhabitants of the culturally distinct Catalonia region and regular targets for teasing in the rest of Spain.

The plane took off from Barcelona, capital of Catalonia, before it crashed in southeastern France on Tuesday with the deaths of all 150 people on board.

The Spanish government said at least 49 Spaniards were among the victims but Germanwings, the airline operating the flight, said there had been 35 Spanish victims.

Spain's interior ministry launched a crackdown on online hate speech in May 2014 after the killing of a ruling party politician sparked many insults online against conservative politicians.

© 2015 AFP

1 Comment To This Article

  • Cogito posted:

    on 26th March 2015, 08:05:33 - Reply

    Catalans are used to this kind of hate-messages from Spain. The independent movement has deeper reasons than just taxes or underinvestments, it's hard to live in a country where you are a 2nd class citizen and you know that the government has been fueling anti-catalanism during decades. At some point people has said that's enough. And this cruelty is just one more drop of water.