Spain Nightlife asks for private prosecution in Dani Alves case

Spain Nightlife asks for private prosecution in Dani Alves case

Nightlife sector decides not to remain impassive after this serious event while respecting the defendant’s presumption of innocence

The international nightlife industry wants to express its rejection towards these actions

(BARCELONA, SPAIN) January 25, 2023

The Association Spain Nightlife, adhered to the International Nightlife Association (INA), has presented a judicial document before the court that is investigating the case of the alleged rape perpetrated by international football player Dani Alves, to become a private prosecutor in the case. The petition is currently awaiting the response of the district attorney and the defense for the judge to accept Spain Nightlife in the case. The INA is also studying to become a private prosecutor due to the worldwide media impact this case is having. Nightlife business owners feel legitimized by this given the serious damage that is being caused to the image of the sector as well as to show their absolute rejection of this type of conduct.

Joaquim Boadas, Secretary General of Spain Nightlife and the International Nightlife Association has stated that "The private prosecution is carried out with the utmost respect for the defendant’s fundamental right of presumption of innocence, which does not take away from the fact that we condemn these behaviors and stand in solidarity with the victim and that we want the incident to be clarified as soon as possible, which is why we intend to be part in the criminal case.”

The legal representative of both organizations has stated that "The nightlife industry cannot remain indifferent before such serious actions, especially when it is fighting and training employers and workers to avoid cases of sexual violence so that behaviors like these never happen in nightlife premises.” In fact, Boadas has continued to explain "Fortunately these events are very rare in nightlife venues" and has defended that "nightlife venues are safe spaces, especially when the vast majority of them incorporate special measures and protocols to avoid cases of sexual assault and harassment and we will continue fighting until we can completely eradicate them."

International safety and quality distinctions to prevent cases of sexual assault

The International Nightlife Association and its member associations such as Spain Nightlife have been implementing international safety and quality seals since 2017 that incorporate special measures to avoid, among others, sexual misconduct in member venues. Thus, the highest international nightlife distinction that currently exists is the Triple Excellence in Nightlife. Said distinction promoted by the International Nightlife Association, incorporates a series of measures and a protocol to prevent sexual assault from occurring in nightlife venues, and not only inside but also outside. The protocol is called "Ask For Angela", and is accompanied by training for its proper use that is given to all venue staff. Ask for Angela is the name of a campaign that was created in England by the Lincolnshire County Council that started in 2016 that is used by bars and other venues to keep people safe from sexual assault by using a codeword to identify when they are in danger or are in an uncomfortable situation and has since been spread worldwide.

The seal also requires that the venue have drink covers available to its customers to avoid drink spiking, the obligation to have security cameras, and metal detectors, among other measures to protect clients’ and workers’ health and well-being.

These distinctions have awoken the interest of international student agencies and have been praised by consulates and other governmental and non-governmental organizations, given the protection and security they provide to young clubbers.

In this regard, precisely Sutton Barcelona, where the events under investigation occurred, is in the process of implementing the Triple Excellence in Nightlife, "Denoting and confirming their firm commitment to the fight against cases of sexual violence", as explained by Joaquim Boadas.

Sutton Barcelona and its impeccable and exemplary response

On the other hand, we want to highlight that Sutton Barcelona and its employees, acted impeccably and exemplarily on the night of the unfortunate event. Sutton’s employees and management cared for the victim from the outset and notified the police and emergency services while reporting the incident.

Thus, the nightclub, in addition to being in the process of implementing international measures and protocols to fight against these cases, has also implemented the protocol to prevent, detect and tend to sexual assaults at concerts and nightlife spaces, promoted by Barcelona City Hall and which bears the name "No Callem" (We won’t keep quiet) based on which they acted impeccably, as pointed out by the General Secretary Joaquim Boadas.