Amnesty report blasts "blind eye" to police torture

15th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

15 November 2007, Madrid - Amnesty International (AI) on Wednesday condemned Spanish governments past and present for turning a blind eye to the torture and abuse of prisoners it claims takes place in police stations and jails across the country.

15 November 2007

Madrid - Amnesty International (AI) on Wednesday condemned Spanish governments past and present for turning a blind eye to the torture and abuse of prisoners it claims takes place in police stations and jails across the country.

In a report entitled "Salt in the wound: The effective impunity of police officers in cases of torture and abuse," the Spanish branch of the global human-rights group accuses Madrid of showing a consistent lack of interest in tackling the problem.

"Until now there has been a lack of will on the part of this government and those previous to prevent, investigate and punish torture and abuse, which in some cases have simply been denied," Esteban Beltrán, the director of AI in Spain, said yesterday.

Though complaints of torture and mistreatment by police have long been associated with imprisoned members of Basque terrorist group ETA, human-rights activists say that abuse occurs in jails across the country against all manner of suspects.

In particular, however, Beltrán noted that there has recently been an increase in complaints by immigrants, who say they suffer racially motivated violence at the hands of officers.

AI calls for prosecutors and courts to start investigating possible abuses, for security forces to amend their policies to tighten up on wayward officers and that closed-circuit television cameras be installed in all police stations.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL. 2007]

Subject: Spanish news

 

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