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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On trial for reporting tortures

Yesterday began an unprecedented trial here at Bilbao: two people are being judged for reporting to the press a case of tortures by the Spanish police (Ibon Meñika, 2006). The accused are Julen Larrinaga, speaker of the pro-amnesty movement (no official name anymore as they have been illegalized more than once), and Aiert Larrarte, lawyer of Torturaren Aurkako Taldea (TAT, Group Against Torture). They are charged with defamation of the police.

The defendants rejected any agreement with the state prosecutor and also rejected to reply to his questions in court. They denounced that most cases of torture are just dismissed in the Spanish tribunals with ridiculous sentences of about two lines but that in the less biased international forums the name of Spain appears once and again in the reports of tortures and human rights abuses.

They denounced also that in the case of Meñika, the situation was the same: before a likely and consistent report of tortures, the case was filed without any minimally serious investigation (Meñika was not even questioned by the judge).

In a parallel development, Amnesty International reported yesterday that they have serious doubts on wether in Spain tortures are investigated at all. AI asked from the Spanish PM to report to Parliament on this matter and to adopt a protocol for prevention of torture. They demanded the end of the incommunication period, in agreement with what UN and the EC recommend.

Source: Gara.

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