World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN Expert: Spain should trust its democracy

“Spain should trust its democracy and work for victims’ rights” – UN expert on transitional justice

MADRID / GENEVA (5 February 2014) – The UN international expert on transitional justice, Pablo de Greiff* urged the authorities to “trust their institutions and their democracy and not to postpone measures for justice, truth and reparation for the victims of human rights violations committed during the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship”.

“Spain is a mature democracy and the strength of its institutions allows asserting that today the country does not face any risk of institutional breakdown. This is by itself a guarantee of non-recurrence,” said the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence appointed by the UN Human Rights Council.

Concluding his official visit to Spain, Mr de Greiff highlighted that “genuine reconciliation requires the implementation of these four measures: truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence,” that represent the four pillars of his mandate.

“It is essential that the State finds ways to provide access to justice for the victims,” the human rights expert said, reiterating recommendations made by other UN bodies on matters of justice, including the withdrawal of the Amnesty Law.

“In practice,” the Rapporteur pointed-out, “the Amnesty Law, the prescription of the crimes, the non-retroactivity of the law, the presumption of the death of the perpetrators, are arguments used to file the cases, without investigation.”

Mr de Greiff emphasized the fundamental value of the investigation for the realization of the right to truth. “The State must promote greater awareness on the obligation to protect the rights that the alleged perpetrators hold, as well as the victims’ rights,” he said.

In relation to truth, the Rapporteur expressed concern about the fragmentation of existing information, mainly gathered thanks to the efforts of historians, investigators and the victims and their relatives.

In that regard, he recommended the establishment of a mechanism to ‘officialise’ the truth, “to coordinate efforts and centralize information about all the victims, regardless of the side or political affiliation of the victims or the perpetrators.” The Rapporteur urged both State institutions and civil society to focus the debate on the notion of rights, beyond political considerations.

Transitional policies in Spain have focused on the element of reparation. However, one of the main demands of the victims and their relatives relates to the adoption of programmes which include categories of victims of human rights violations that are not covered by existing programmes, in addition to the annulment of the sentences pronounced by courts created during the Civil War and the Franco dictatorship.

“The impact of the conflict and the dictatorship on women is also an element that should be considered as a priority,” the Rapporteur said.

During his official visit to Spain, Mr de Greiff met with a large variety of representatives of the executive branch, the legislative and the judiciary, with Ombudspersons and institutions of historic memory, as well as representatives of the civil society, including victims, relatives, organisations and academics, both at central level, and in the Autonomous Communities of Andalucía, Cataluña and Galicia.

The Rapporteur visited several memory sites, including the Valle de los Caídos, the cemetery of Paracuellos de Jarama, the so-called Canal of the Prisoners (Canal of Bajo Guadalquivir) and the remaining of the concentration camp of Los Merinales, close to Seville, and the mausoleum built on a mass grave in Cazalla de la Sierra. He also visited the mass grave of the Fossar de la Pedrera and the Montjuic Castle in Barcelona, as well as the Island of San Simón in Galicia.

The Special Rapporteur will present his final report on his visit to the Human Rights Council in September 2014.

(*) Read the full statement of the Rapporteur concluding his official visit to Spain.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

The White House: Charting A New Course On Cuba

We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba. More>>

ALSO:


Journalist Most Recent Victim Of Israeli Military

Bashar, a journalist from Palestine TV, was shot in the left leg at Kufr Qaddum on Friday the 5th of December 2014. More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Swiss government’s bid to convene a summit on Palestine
  • UN News - UN-backed reconstruction efforts continue in Gaza
  • UNICEF Mobilizes To Reach People Affected By Typhoon

    As Typhoon Hagupit wreaks havoc through the Philippines, UNICEF is acting quickly to support the Filipino government’s response to the emergency, providing lifesaving supplies and services for children and women in the areas hardest hit by cyclone-force ... More>>

    ALSO:

  • FAO - FAO praises government for early typhoon warnings
  • Security Council Demands End To LRA Attacks In Africa

    A Congolese refugee at an emergency school in Obo, Haut-Mbomou, Central African Republic, (CAR) after fleeing attacks by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Photo: OCHA/Lauren Paletta More>>

    UN Condemns Botswana’s Treatment Of Bushmen

    The UN Special Rapporteur on cultural rights has voiced concerns over Botswana's evictions of the Bushmen in the name of wildlife conservation. The United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on cultural rights has condemned Botswana’s treatment of Africa’s ... More>>

    UN Congratulates Frontline Ebola Response Workers

    10 December 2014 – The United Nations today congratulated the front line workers in the field battling Ebola on their well-deserved recognition as Time “Person of the Year,” while countries affected by the outbreak and their partners met to ... More>>

    ALSO:

    World United States: US Must Now Recover Moral High Ground In Torture Allegations

    Mr. Juan Mendez, Special Rapporteur on Torture, Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news