The Catalan Government’s Ministry of Equality and Feminisms has this morning started proceedings against the anti-rights organisation HazteOír for promoting discrimination against trans*, non-binary and intersex people through messages displayed on a bus.

The Government’s response, taken through the Office for Equal Treatment and Non-discrimination in the Ministry of Equality and Feminisms in coordination with the Ministry of Home Affairs, includes two interim measures to halt the alleged discrimination: stopping the bus and preventing its use until the messages are removed. “‘They shall not pass’ is still relevant,” said Tània Verge Mestre, the Catalan Minister for Equality and Feminisms. “As a government we cannot tolerate breaches of the rights of people living in Catalonia and the rights of trans* people are human rights.”

The organisation could potentially be fined up to €40,000 as these messages might constitute serious discrimination. “The Public Prosecutor’s Office has been told about the opening of this administrative case so that if the Prosecutor’s Office does find evidence of a hate crime, it can begin criminal proceedings,” added Manuela Fernández Ruiz, director of the Office for Equal Treatment and Non-discrimination.“We welcome the coordinated action between the Ministry of Equality and Feminisms and the Ministry of the Interior because we are here to send a very clear message: we will take decisive action against any discrimination.”

Minister Verge pointed out that the Catalan Government is the first “to have stopped this bus, which has recently been driving around the Region of Madrid, the Region of Valencia and also Aragon”, and emphasised that “these discriminatory messages have no place in our country”.