Spain policewoman in row over period toilet break

A patrol car of Spanish Guardia Civil is parked in La Roza rural area, near Cangas de Onis, where a helicopter that was battling a fire crashed on December 23, 2015 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Guardia Civil's treatment of women is now under scrutiny (File photo)

A Spanish policewoman reprimanded for briefly abandoning duty during her period has accused an officer of harassment, reports say.

The woman could face two days' suspension without pay from the Guardia Civil, Spain's military force, El Pais newspaper reported.

She was in a patrol car in Barcelona on 8 March - International Women's Day - but rushed off to a toilet for 5-10 minutes because she was menstruating.

An officer reported her for doing so.

A witness quoted by El Pais said the policewoman explained her brief absence to the officer, a lieutenant, who shouted at her: "Don't tell me fibs, you go to the toilet before or after the patrol, but not during it."

Faced with the official reprimand, the policewoman decided to activate the Guardia Civil's procedure for alleged harassment at work.

The lieutenant said she disobeyed orders by failing to ask permission for the toilet break while on duty.

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