The new Law of Democratic Memory of Spain, approved last year, international law and the imprescriptibility of crimes against humanity are the assets on which the Spanish Prosecutor’s Office relies to propose, for the first time, that justice investigate the crimes of Francoism.
(Also: Why is Spain seeking to put Latin America back at the center of the European agenda?)
The Spanish Prosecutor’s Office asked the court to investigate the torture by the Francoist Police of a trade unionist in a Barcelona police stationinvoking for the first time the new law that opens the door to investigate crimes of the dictatorship (1939-1975) that the Amnesty Law prevented from prosecuting.
(Keep reading: There is already a date for Daniel Sancho’s trial for ‘unknown investigation’: they ask for jail)
These are the keys to a decision by the Prosecutor’s Office that opens a new path in Spain so that the victims of Francoism and the Civil War (1936-1939) can go to justice in search of truth and reparation, with the support of the public ministry.
The Memory Law, a new regulatory scenario
The Prosecutor’s Office bases its commitment to investigate the crimes of the Franco regime on the fact that the new Democratic Memory Law represents “a new regulatory scenario of unavoidable importance”, especially because it “imposes on the State the obligation” to clarify human rights violations in war and the dictatorship through “public investigations.”
(Keep reading: Are you thinking about going to Spain? These are the best paying jobs in that country)
The Law also requires create a Memory Room prosecutor whose function will be to “carry out the procedures” established in the norm, intervene in criminal proceedings of special importance and exercise public action in those cases.
The Prosecutor’s Office argues that the principles of International Criminal Law, when they refer to crimes against “essential” human rights, and international treaties must be incorporated in the interpretation of domestic laws and the Constitution itself, which establishes this.
In this sense, the Democratic Memory Law provides that all laws, including the Amnesty Law approved in 1977, “shall be interpreted and applied in accordance with international law” and, in particular, humanitarian law.
(You can read: Photos of Princess Leonor, heir to the throne of Spain, carrying an Army weapon)
Crimes against humanity do not prescribe
The prescription of crimes that occurred during the dictatorship and the war is, together with the Amnesty Law of 1977, the main reason that until now prevented judicial investigations into the crimes of Franco’s regime from prospering.
In that sense, the Prosecutor’s Office argues that Humanitarian law establishes that war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and torture are considered “imprescriptible and non-amnestiable.”.
(See also: The Spanish Police seize about 2,300 kilos of cocaine from America)
In any case, the public ministry insists, invoking jurisprudence, even to declare its statute of limitations, every crime must be investigated, so that “the issue appears so clear and transparent that it clearly and without leaving any doubt does not admit an allegation to the contrary.” .
Investigate the context
The Prosecutor’s Office defends that a complaint for possible crimes against humanity cannot be filed, based on the Amnesty Law and the statute of limitations of the crime, without carrying out the necessary investigative procedures to “determine the contours of the reported facts, the contextual circumstances” and “possible patterns of behavior”.
Consider that They are necessary elements so that justice can adopt a “decision based on law” on what crime constitutes the reported facts, as well as on their statute of limitations and “administerable nature.”.
(Also read: Outrage in Spain: they release a man who groped a journalist live)
Common crime versus crime against humanity
To do this, he continues, it is “essential to determine the context” in which the events occurred, to determine whether they constitute “a common crime or a serious violation of human rights that is part of a crime against humanity.”
This crime includes, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, “homicides, murders, illegal detentions, forced disappearances, torture and other similar crimes”, carried out from “organized power structures within the State or a similar organization” that are used by the perpetrators to facilitate its execution and seeking its impunity, with a “specific purpose of persecution or repression of certain social groups.”
The right to the truth
Investigating the crimes of Franco’s regime, for the Prosecutor’s Office, not only guarantees the right to justice, “but also the right to the truth,” which is one of those articulated by international humanitarian law and the Democratic Memory Law itself.
(You can read: They investigate possible filicide in the case of the death of a Colombian mother and son in Spain)
In fact, in its explanatory statement the law requires “guarantee the right to truth and justice” of the victims of serious human rights violations, all with the aim of promoting “peaceful coexistence and the continued development of our democracy”.
The United Nations and the European Court of Human Rights also established the right to the truth, taking into account, the Prosecutor’s Office recalls, that human rights violations “in addition to affecting direct or indirect victims, have an impact on broader interests.”
#keys #request #Spanish #Prosecutors #Office #investigate #torture #Francos #regime