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

 

Ban To Take Up Fight Against Ebola With All UN Organisations

Street sellers at Waterside market in central Monrovia, where there has seen a huge drop in customers over the past months due to the onset of the Ebola Virus Disease. Photo: UNDP/Carly Learson (20 November 2014) More>>

ALSO:

Darfur: UN-Backed Event Promotes Role Of Women In Peace

Darfur: amid mass rape allegations, UN-backed event promotes role of women in peace processes More>>

Ebola Cases No Longer Rising In Guinea And Liberia

In Conakry, Guinea, a mobilizer teaches children about proper handwashing techniques, which help prevent the spread of diseases, including Ebola. Photo: UNICEF/Timothy La Rose More>>

ALSO:

UN: Alleged Mass Rape In North Darfur

UNAMID commanders from Rwanda and Ethiopia exhange duties in Tabit, North Darfur, to escort a convoy of World Food Programme (WFP) trucks travelling from El Fasher to Shangil Tobaya. Photo: UNAMID/Albert González Farran More>>


Illegal Fishermen Encroach On World’s Most Isolated Tribe

Due to their isolation the Sentinelese of India's Andaman Islands are the most vulnerable society on the planet. They face increasing threats from illegal fishermen who are targeting their waters. More>>

World War: Nearly 1,000 Dead Amid Shaky Ukraine Ceasefire

In latest report, UN rights office says nearly 1,000 dead amid shaky Ukraine ceasefire More>>

ALSO:

Palestinian Activists Cross Apartheid Wall

Friday morning around 50 Palestinian and international activists used makeshift bridges to cross the Apartheid wall between Qalandiya and Northern Jerusalem. This non-violent direct action was in response to the restrictions Israel had placed on Palestinian ... More>>

Police And Crime: FBI Warns Ferguson Decision ‘Will Likely’ Lead To Violence

As the nation waits to hear whether a Missouri police officer will face charges for killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson , Mo., the FBI is warning law enforcement agencies across the country that the decision “will likely” lead ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news