The annual San Fermín festival is slated to take place in Pamplona from Saturday, July 6, through Sunday, July 14. Over 1 million people are expected to visit the city during the festival. Authorities have implemented heightened security measures including additional police surveillance and checkpoints. Protests to denounce the running of the bulls ceremony and bull-fighting are possible over the coming weeks; animal rights groups staged protests on Friday, July 5, in Pamplona. Crowded conditions and transportation disruptions are expected in Pamplona during the festival.
Protests over safety concerns at the San Fermín festival have taken place in recent years. Large-scale protests broke out across Spain after five men accused of gang raping an 18-year-old woman during the San Fermín festival in Pamplona in 2016 were initially found guilty of "continuous sexual abuse," a lesser offense. A Pamplona court sentenced each of the men to nine years in prison and ordered each to pay EUR 10,000 (USD 12,150) in compensation to the victim; the prosecution sought sentences of 22 years in prison for each accused man and EUR 250,000 (USD 303,690) in compensation. In June 2019, the Spanish Supreme Court overturned the lower court's decision and sentenced the five men to 15 years in prison on charges of sexual assault and rape.
Individuals visiting Pamplona during the San Fermín festival are advised to remain vigilant and to be prepared for crowded conditions at the airport and hotels, as well as other associated disruptions.
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