Wednesday, July 6

Democratic memory, impunity and parliamentary processing

43 years ago the Constitution of the Spanish State enshrined in its article 24 the right to effective judicial protection, guaranteeing, even formally, access to justice by all persons who required or demanded it.

The aforementioned constitutional precept has been repeatedly breached by the Spanish State with respect to all the people, and their relatives, who suffered serious punishable human rights violations as a consequence of the Francoist crimes that were committed: murders, forced disappearances, slave labor, imprisonment, theft of babies, torture, patrimonial looting…..

The Spanish courts and tribunals refuse to investigate and, where appropriate, prosecute the crimes against humanity that were committed in and by the Spanish State for much more than forty years, consolidating a model of impunity that is in no case acceptable or democratic terms, nor in legal terms from the perspective of International Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law.

Thus, different international bodies have been demanding that the Spanish State reverse the situation of impunity that has been maintained and, to this end, facilitate and promote, among other issues, the judicial investigation of Francoist crimes. In this sense, we can cite, by way of example, the reports issued by treaty bodies and mechanisms attached to the United Nations Human Rights Council, such as the Human Rights Committee, the Committee against Torture, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances, Special Rapporteurs, etc…..

To this it is convenient to add, of course, the demands that in this sense have been maintained for many years by the entire memorialist social movement.

Reversing, once and for all, the model of impunity maintained by the Spanish State, which prevents the investigation and prosecution of Francoist crimes, is an urgent matter of a democratic nature.

In the current legislature, three important legislative initiatives are being processed in Parliament to try to put an end to impunity for Francoist crimes: the Draft Law on Democratic Memory, the Proposal for the Law on Stolen Babies in the Spanish State and the Proposal for the Law of reform of the Law 9/1968, of April 5, of Official Secrets.

The Law Proposal to reform the Official Secrets Law was registered and published in the Official Gazette in January 2020, the Stolen Babies Law in March 2020 and the Democratic Memory Law Project in August 2020. 2021.

Having exceeded the halfway point of the current legislature, the three legislative initiatives are subject to successive and unjustified extensions in the processing of amendments, which, de facto, supposes a blockage in their processing.

As we said, it is urgent to put an end to this situation and urgently give effect to the aforementioned legislative initiatives, especially when we verify day by day how the discourse of denial of fundamental rights by the most reactionary sectors of the State is spreading and advancing. Therefore, it is essential to unblock the three legislative initiatives, advance without further delay in their processing and proceed to their approval with content in accordance with the human rights standards that have been demanded of the Spanish State and that are being claimed in turn by the memorialist movement.

And all this because the people who suffered serious human rights violations, their families and, ultimately, society as a whole deserve it. This is a matter of democratic dignity.

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