Tribunal against the Spanish Government for Human Rights Violations

October 3, 2015

argentine courtA court made up of prestigious human rights activists in Argentina held a trial in Buenos Aires that concluded with a symbolic ruling condemning Spain for its colonial and repressive policies in Latin America and in the Basque Country.

Judges Graciela Rosenblum, president of the Argentinean League for Human Rights; Beinusz Szmukler, advisory President of the American Society of Jurists, and Ernesto Moreau, co-president of the Human Rights Assembly presided over the trial which took place in the Armenian Cultural Union in Buenos Aires and was supported by about 30 political, trade unions, social, academic and media organizations.

The organizers stated that the motivation of the trial was to reject a process scheduled to take place in Madrid that is aimed to condemn the Basque Internationalism, represented by the Askapena Organization (Liberation). The goal of the Spanish authorities is to make Askapena illegal and to jail five of their leaders.

With more than two decades of existence, Askapena is the Basque group that has maintained ties of solidarity with many peoples around the world by annually sending brigades of its members to Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico and Palestine to name a few.

A dozen witnesses provided testimony about the harmful ecological and economic damages created by Spanish transnational corporations and the conditions that Basque militants face in Spanish prisons. One of the witnesses, Basque filmmaker Maria Torrelas, said, “There is an intention to destroy the Basque as a people,”

One witness reported that male prisoners suffer from isolation, physical abuse and mental torture. Women prisoners meanwhile face humiliating sexual abuse including rape and their mental and physical health is not taken care of.

The Court found the Spanish State guilty of violations of political and human rights against militant and Basque organizations, as well as massacres perpetrated during three centuries of colonialism in Latin America. The tribunal also found Spain to be an active accomplice to the repression during the last civil-military dictatorship in Argentina.

The trial concluded with a call to the Argentine people to repudiate the repressive activities of Spain, to condemn its economic interference and to actively support the right to self-determination of the Basque and Catalan peoples.

Finally, the Court strongly rejects the criminalization of the international solidarity of the Askapena organization and to demand the immediate release of more than 450 Basque political prisoners.

Source: Prensa Latina