Journalists working for Spain’s public broadcaster denounced “the manipulation and censorship” of their work in a meeting at the European Parliament (EP) on Wednesday, and urged the EU body to call on Spain to respect “impartiality, plurality and independence.”

A delegation of the association of journalists working in Spain’s TVE attended the chamber in Brussels to meet the president of the petitions committee, Cecilia Wilkström. The case is currently under consideration after it was accepted for review two months ago.

“Public media should be independent and plural, not the voice of any government” said Alejandro Caballero, a representative of the journalists’ association. “People who are currently in charge of RTVE aim to hide things which later emerge as news.”

Gabriel López, another representative, described the current situation as “critical” and said that principles envisioned in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights are being violated.

More meetings with EP officials are to follow, and a non-binding document will eventually emerge. The European Commission is also expected to look into the accusations and issue a report.

Complaint against Catalan media

On the same day, the EP registered a complaint by a former official of Spain’s ruling People’s Party, who accused Catalan public media of lack of plurality and broadcasting content in support of independence. The petition has yet to be accepted.

According to the conservative MEP Rosa Estaràs, the complaint “gives details on several events and clues which show that TV3 and other Catalan media have exclusively served Catalan governments in order to promote independence and, therefore, did not work to offer Catalans complete and true information.”

MEP Josep Maria-Terricabras, from pro-independence ERC, criticized the complaint and said it wants to advance the idea that Catalan TV is “as partial” and “lacks plurality” as much as Spain’s RTVE. He said the petition only intended to “make some noise.”

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