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Barcelona bar owner who threw out patrons for color of their skin fined €1,500

The judge ruled that the accused acted with “undisguised contempt” when he told the group: “I don’t want black people here”

A protest against racism in Barcelona.
A protest against racism in Barcelona. Getty

The owner of a bar in Barcelona has been ordered to pay €1,500 for throwing five patrons out of his establishment in 2016 because of the color of their skin. A judge in the Barcelona municipality of Arenys de Mar ordered the owner to pay €300 to each of the plaintiffs and has banned him from working in the teaching, sporting and leisure sectors for two-and-a-half years.

The judge ruled that the accused, identified by his initials C. E. F., offended the dignity of the five patrons and found him guilty of five crimes against basic rights and public freedom.

The owner argued it was  misunderstanding because the patrons couldn’t understand his Argentine accent

The racist incident occurred on May 15, 2016, when the group sat down at an outdoor table at the bar. The owner called one of them over and told them: “I don’t want black people here,” an action the judge said showed his “undisguised contempt for their race.”

When this person returned to tell the others that the owner wanted them to leave, another member of the group tried to speak with the owner but he insisted that he didn’t want black people at the establishment.

In the ruling, the judge accepted the patrons’ version of events and said the owner’s defense – that it was a linguistic misunderstanding because the patrons couldn’t speak Spanish well or understand his own Argentine accent – was “not credible.”

The judge ruled that C. E. F. threw out the five patrons because “of the mere fact” they were black, arguing he acted solely from racial discrimination and offended the dignity of each member of the group.

English version by Melissa Kitson.

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