Amnesty condemns Spain

3rd December 2004, Comments 0 comments

3 December 2004, MADRID- Amnesty International has denounced what it called the Spanish state's failure to provide adequate compensation for victims of torture and slammed a rise in illegal detentions, especially of foreigners. "In reparations for (torture) victims, Spain ranks very low," Esteban Beltran, head of the Spanish branch of the London-based human rights group, told a press conference as he unveiled a report entitled "Spain. End the double injustice. Victims of torture and ill-treatment without r

3 December 2004

MADRID- Amnesty International has denounced what it called the Spanish state's failure to provide adequate compensation for victims of torture and slammed a rise in illegal detentions, especially of foreigners.
 
"In reparations for (torture) victims, Spain ranks very low," Esteban Beltran, head of the Spanish branch of the London-based human rights group, told a press conference as he unveiled a report entitled "Spain. End the double injustice. Victims of torture and ill-treatment without reparations."

Beltran, who was accompanied by Fernando Marino, chairman of the United Nations Committee on Torture, said Spain lacked a proper scheme to compensate those ill-treated and tortured during detention.

"A person who is victim of a traffic accident is treated the same way as a person subjected to torture," Beltran said.

Of the 240 cases examined by his organization from 1980 to 2004, he said that "nearly 80 percent of the (torture) victims received compensations of less than EUR 3,000 (USD 2,500) and roughly 30 percent received less than EUR 600."

Amnesty conceded however that "torture in Spain is not systematic" but said authorities needed to "acknowledge this problem" to deal with cases which may come up in a country which has signed the 1984 International Convention against Torture.

In addition, the Amnesty official deplored the fact that torture victims in Spain received compensation for bodily harm only, and not for moral harm.

Amnesty also highlighted a recent increase in cases of "illegal detentions and ill-treatment with a racist component, especially of foreigners."

He said while in the first years of the study the cases involved mainly members of armed groups such as the Basque separatist organization ETA, more recently the "ill-treatment of immigrants has arisen the most."

Beltran said many immigrants were afraid of reporting abuse because they were in the country illegally and feared retaliation by authorities.
  
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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