JAVEA resident Raul Diego has started legal proceedings against two Guardia Civil officers for “linguistic discrimination.”
The two officers stopped him at the end of last December during a routine drugs-and-drink traffic control in Tavernes de Valldignat near Gandia(Valencia). He and three others were driving to the Festivern music festival in Tavernes when they were stopped and Diego, who was driving, addressed the officers in Valenciano. When asked to speak Spanish he explained that he was legally entitled to use Valenciano but was allegedly told that unless he continued the conversation in Spanish, he would be taken to the Guardia Civil headquarters where he would have wait until an interpreter arrived.
Diego has the support of the Plataforma por la Llengua, which promotes and protects the use of Valenciano throughout the region. Manuel Carceller, a spokesman for the Plataforma, complained that the Guardia Civil officers considered that Diego was obstructing them in their duties by using the local language.
“This was an example of ideologic prejudice and inappropriate for members of a State security force,” Carceller said.