‘It was a shocking experience. I have been coming to Catalonia for five years and had already perceived racism towards the Catalans, but after this, I am more convinced.’ This is how Claude Lefebvre, a 48-year-old Corsican citizen, had strongly reported the Civil Guard who humiliated him last week at el Prat airport. The reason for it? That in his hand baggage he was carrying a laptop computer with an ANC sticker with the Catalan flag. As a result of the events, Lefebvre has made a complaint to Calenzana police station in Corsica (you can see it at the end of this article), and tomorrow will be presenting another complaint to the French Consulate in Barcelona.
Lefebvre was returning from spending 3 months in Catalonia with his partner, the Catalan Roser Farràs, and last Thursday at midday had to catch the Vueling flight leaving T-1 at 12.45 for Marseille, from where he wanted to catch a flight on to the Corsican city of Calvi.
The problems started with the policeman who passes the hand luggage through the scanner in the security control at the entrance to the boarding area. Lefebvre passed the security arch without any problem, but they made him open his hand luggage and asked him if he was carrying any kind of electronic apparatus. He said he was, that he was carrying quite an old laptop computer. They asked him to get it out. He got it out, and when the policeman saw that there was an ANC sticker on it, he asked him whether he was Catalan or Spanish. He said he was French.
Then another policeman caught him ‘sharply by the arm’ and searched him again, took his passport and plane ticket, made him go through the security arch once more and this time it sounded. They took him to a room used by the airport staff. He explains how it went. ‘One of the two policeman there was put his hand on his truncheon and asked me what the problem was. I told him I had none. He insulted me and called me “cabró” (bastard), he told me that if I wanted to come back to Spain, I would probably have serious problems.’
They finished by taking him back to the security control area and there they laughed at him in front of everyone for the fact of being of French nationality but carrying the sticker of the Catalan flag. He asked for the name of the policeman who had searched him, but he did not want to give it to him and told him to pass, to go away.
‘I have informed the French Consulate in Barcelona to make them aware of this inadmissible and racist treatment towards the Catalans’, he says. Now he is waiting for an answer.
Here is Lefebvre’s complaint to the police station: