A Mosso d'Esquadra, Catalan regional police officer, stands guard during an anti-fascist demonstration on Spain's National Day in Barcelona, Spain, October 12, 2017. REUTERS/Susana Vera
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Misleading news reports, often about violence involving police, and partisan media coverage have fueled tensions as each side seeks to influence the outcome of Spain's toxic political crisis.One photo of a woman whose fingers were allegedly broken by police to stop her from voting during a banned independence referendum in Catalonia on Oct. 1 was widely distributed on social media.The Catalan government said nearly 900 people had received "medical attention" on the day of the referendum.AFP tried on the day of the referendum to verify the status of the injured people.The police crackdown against the Catalan referendum has also been covered radically differently by Spanish state television and Catalonia regional TV.On Oct. 1 TV3, which depends on the Catalan government, opened its main newscast with statements from Spanish government officials hailing the "professionalism" of security forces – followed by images of police beating would-be voters.On Spanish public television TVE the images of police violence did not make the nightly news.
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