Select this search icon to access the amnesty.ca search form

Main menu

Facebook Share

Spain

    October 18, 2017

    On 16 October, a judge of the Audiencia Nacional ordered the pre-trial detention of Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, the presidents, respectively, of the pro-Catalan independence organisations the Catalan National Assembly (ANC) and Omnium Cultural. They have been charged with sedition under article 544 of the Spanish Criminal Code in connection with protests they organized in Barcelona on 20 and 21 September. The protests opposed and sought to obstruct an operation conducted by law enforcement and judicial authorities in several governmental buildings to prevent the organization of the referendum on the independence of Catalonia on 1 October.

    The police and judicial operation conducted on 20 and 21 September was based on a judicial order issued by a court in Barcelona and involved the searches of several official governmental buildings. On 7 September, the Constitutional Court had ruled that the referendum was illegal and against the Spanish Constitution.

    October 03, 2017

    AI observers confirm the dangerous and inappropriate use of riot control equipment, including beating of defenceless people offering no resistance, and calls for a swift, thorough and impartial investigation into the events

    Amnesty International has directly confirmed on the ground that members of the National Police force's Police Intervention Unit (UIP) and Civil Guard officers used excessive and disproportionate force against demonstrators who were passively resisting in the streets and at the entrances to polling stations. The security forces were acting on the ruling of the High Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC), which ordered them to prevent the holding of a referendum. The Ministry of the Interior reports that the security forces intervened and shut down 92 polling stations. According to information from the Generalitat (the government of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia), there were a total of 2,315 polling stations, 400 of which were shut down by court order.

    October 02, 2017

    Responding to clashes between police and protesters around today's Catalan referendum, John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia Director said:

    "Spanish police have clearly been obstructed in the exercise of their duties at numerous polling stations today, but there is plenty of footage to suggest that police officers have used excessive and disproportionate force at at least some of them. With tensions running high, it is essential that both Spanish law and international human rights law is respected.

    “Spanish police must avoid the excessive use of force; and whenever the lawful use of force is unavoidable, they must use it with restraint and in proportion to the seriousness of the law enforcement objective.”

    A delegation of Amnesty International researchers has been deployed in Catalonia throughout the day to monitor the respect for human rights. The organisation will publish more detailed findings tomorrow.

    ++++

    For more information please contact: Jacob Kuehn, Media Relations 613-744-7667 ext 236 or jkueyn@amnesty.ca

    August 18, 2017

    AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL SPAIN RELEASE

    · The organization condemns the attacks in both Barcelona and Cambrils in which at least 14 people have died.

    · Deliberate attacks against civilians are a crime under international law.

    Madrid / Barcelona: At least 13 people died and more than 100 were injured yesterday, 17 August, when a van deliberately ploughed into crowds of people in Las Ramblas in Barcelona, one of the town's main tourist areas.

    According to official sources, several hours later, in the early hours of 18 August, another attack took place in Cambrils (Tarragona) which left at least one person dead. According to reports, the Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalan Regional Police) thwarted the second attack when five people were shot while attempting to carry out a similar attack to the one in Barcelona. According to official sources, the five people, who are confirmed dead, were wearing fake explosive devices.

    August 17, 2017

    Amnesty International strongly condemns the attack that left numerous people dead and wounded on Thursday 17 August on La Rambla in Barcelona. The organization expresses its solidarity with the victims and their families and urges the authorities to conduct a swift and thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice.

     

    “We send our full support and solidarity to the victims of this despicable act at this difficult time”, announced Esteban Beltrán, Director of AI Spain. “We must continue to stand up to hate. These types of attacks demonstrate a complete disregard for the most fundamental principles of humanity,” he added.

     

    February 10, 2015

    Proposed amendments to the Spanish criminal code that would expand the range of crimes defined as “terrorism” to include vague language and overly broad categories of offences would infringe people’s basic human rights, said Amnesty International ahead of a parliamentary debate today.

    “The proposed definition of terrorism includes so many crimes that it is rendered virtually meaningless. The parliament should reject any proposals that would violate basic rights,” said Julia Hall, Amnesty International’s expert on counter-terrorism and human rights.

    “It would seem that anything from certain forms of expression and association to hacking and travelling could be labelled and prosecuted as terrorism. The suggested definition is overly broad and some elements so vague that even a seasoned lawyer would have trouble knowing for certain what would constitute a terrorist act.”

    September 23, 2014

    The abandoning of a draconian anti-abortion bill that threatened the health, dignity and lives of women and girls in Spain is a step in a positive direction, Amnesty International said today.

    “We’re glad that the Spanish Prime Minister has finally scuppered this retrogressive anti-abortion bill, but the fact remains it should never have been on the legislature’s books in the first place,” said Esteban Beltrán, Director at Amnesty International Spain.

    “The government must not control decisions women and girls make about their lives and health, and fully implement the recommendations by international human rights bodies.”

    The proposed bill presented a series of obstacles to accessing a safe and legal abortion. For example, a woman or girl seeking an abortion would have to obtain two certificates from doctors at different centres, confirming any risks to the life and health of the woman and the foetus. She would also be obliged to receive counselling and information on non-medical issues, and then to wait seven days during a “reflection” period.

    April 24, 2014

    The excessive use of force by Spanish police and plans to strengthen repressive legislation are a damning indictment of the Spanish government’s determination to crush peaceful protest, said Amnesty International in a new report published today.

    “The Spanish government is using the full force of the law to suffocate legitimate peaceful protest,” said Jezerca Tigani, Europe and Central Asia Deputy Program Director.

    “The police have repeatedly used batons and rubber bullets against demonstrators, injuring and maiming protestors and by-standers alike. The police act with complete impunity, while peaceful demonstrators and leaders of social movements are continually harassed, stigmatized, beaten, sometimes arrested to face criminal charges, imprisonment and fines.”

    Amnesty International’s report, Spain: The right to protest under threat, exposes violations by police against demonstrators, the lack of accountability for these violations and the determination of the Spanish authorities to strengthen repressive legislation.

    February 19, 2014

    Spain must refrain from forcibly returning Aleksandr Pavlov to Kazakhstan, Amnesty International said today, shortly after learning of the Spanish government’s decision to authorize his extradition.

    “The Spanish government has decided to extradite Aleksandr Pavlov to Kazakhstan despite credible evidence that he would risk torture upon his return. If they send Aleksandr Pavlov back, they will violate Spain’s international legal obligations,” said Julia Hall, criminal justice expert at Amnesty International.

    “The government must do the right thing and reverse this decision.”

    Aleksandr Pavlov, a 37-year-old asylum seeker in Spain and Kazakhstani national, is currently in detention in the capital city of Madrid.

    According to information received by Amnesty International from different sources, a decision authorising the extradition was taken by the Council of Ministers on 14 February. The decision has not yet been made public.

    November 08, 2013

    The decision by Spain’s high court to extradite an asylum-seeker to Kazakhstan, despite compelling evidence that it would place him at risk of torture, violates international law and must be reversed immediately, Amnesty International said.

    Spain’s high court (Audiencia Nacional) today approved the extradition request for Aleksandr Pavlov, 37, the former head of security for the Kazakhstani opposition figure Mukhtar Ablyazov, who fled the Central Asian country in 2009.

    “Kazakhstan’s record of torture and ill-treatment has been well documented. Aleksandr Pavlov is at real risk of such abuse if he is sent back there. Spain has an absolute obligation under international law to stop this from happening,” said Julia Hall, Amnesty International's expert on counter-terrorism and human rights.

    “If Spain extradites Aleksandr Pavlov, it will be in the full knowledge that he is likely to come to harm. Anything that happens to him in Kazakhstan will be the result of their actions.”

    November 05, 2013

    The Spanish government’s lack of action when it comes to disappearances is shameful. The government’s appalling failure to investigate Franco-era crimes is compounded by its failure to protect people from being victims of disappearances today.

    The Spanish authorities’ refusal to address the legacy of Franco era disappearances is a betrayal of justice, Amnesty International said ahead of a key UN meeting that will take up the issue.

    Proposed reforms to Spain’s Criminal Code fall far short of what is required under international law on enforced disappearances.

    “The Spanish government’s lack of action when it comes to disappearances is shameful,” said Ignacio Jovtis, Amnesty International’s Spain Researcher.

    The Spanish authorities also continue to refuse to investigate the tens of thousands of killings and disappearances during the Spanish Civil War and under the rule of Francisco Franco (1936-1975).

    June 17, 2013

    The Spanish authorities are not investigating crimes under international law committed during the Civil War and Franco period, sending the message that impunity for human rights abuses is allowed, Amnesty International said in a new report today.

    Time passes, impunity remains examines how the Spanish authorities have refused to investigate tens of thousands of killings and disappearances committed during the Civil War by both parties to the conflict and under Francisco Franco’s rule (1936-1975). It is also not cooperating with other countries, such as Argentina, that have opened their own investigations into Spain’s historical abuses.

    “The fact that Spain is neither investigating nor cooperating with proceedings relating to crimes committed during the Civil War by both parties to the conflict or under Franco is a slap in the face of all the relatives of those who were abused and disappeared at the time,” said Esteban Beltrán, Director of Amnesty International Spain.

    Subscribe to Spain
    rights