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Five activists from the Catalan independence and anarchist movements who have been deceived over the last three years in relationships they formed with the undercover police officer operating in the Sant Andreu neighbourhood of Barcelona, have stepped forward to file a complaint over the conduct of this officer, a Mallorcan native who said his name was Dani Hernández Pons. This man used sexual and affective relationships with women to infiltrate into their movements and even had a romantic relationship with one of them that lasted a year. The women are presenting a private accusation, with the legal support of the Íridia human rights group and the CGT trade union, and, specifically, have laid a complaint against the officer for continued sexual abuse, crimes of torture or against moral integrity, revelation and disclosure of secrets and impediments to the exercise of civic rights.

They would not have had a relationship with the man if they had known he was a police officer

According to the two organizations, the actions are very serious and it is unacceptable for an undercover police officer to use sexual and emotional relationships to obtain information, as he allegedly did in this case. In fact, one of the actions for which they denounce the officer is that of continued sexual abuse and they argue that this is due to the fact that the law on sexual freedoms and limits is based on the concept of consent, a key concept in Spain's new 'Only yes means yes' law.

For the women who had sexual relations with the undercover policeman and were deluded by him into thinking he was an anarchist activist, the police officer corrupted the consent via false pretences: the women would never have consented to the relations if they had had all the information about his person: "There is no consent if the aggressor creates conditions or takes advantage of a context that, directly or indirectly, imposes sexual activity without having the woman's agreement." "Consent may be revoked at any moment given that it depends on the person's free will and this, in turn, depends on the information available to the person and the circumstances surrounding that particular sexual interaction. Therefore, information about the person and about the type of sexual practice, are inseparable from sexual consent," the complaint states.

A undercover plant without legal justification

The lawyers from Irídia and the CGT, Sònia Olivella and Laia Serra, who are supporting the women, consider it very serious for an undercover police officer to use sexual relationships with activists to obtain information and make use of his undercover identity to infiltrate the fabric of associations and unions. They note that police undercover activity can only be legally justified as part of the investigation of organized crime or terrorism. This case falls outside that definition, since the theoretical objective of the police was to monitor social movements or to destructure them, especially the libertarian movement. This amounts to a serious violation of civil rights, according to the indictment.

Several months ago, another undercover police officer was identified as having infiltrated into Barcelona left-wing and neighbourhood groups. He also pretended to be Mallorcan, and was born in Menorca. The two characters share the same surnames - Hernández Pons - and when the first officer was discovered in June, the second policeman was pulled out of his role.