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Garzon hits out at ‘human rights abuses’

10 December 2003

MADRID – Judge Baltazar Garzon criticised human rights abuses by “leaders and institutions” in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, it was reported Wednesday.

Garzon, a human rights judge who became internationally famous when he asked the British government to arrest the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet while he was on a state visit to the UK, spoke out before parliament as Spain commemorated the 55th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights, signed in 1948.

The judge said: “Today in the world there is a dangerous situation where certain institutions and leaders do not respect these rights.”

He added that “situations such as the ones in Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan or Iraq should not exist, which would mean that these rights would be more real”.

Dozens of Al-Qaeda suspects are being held in Guantanamo Bay, the United States’ military base in Cuba. But the conditions of their detention has brought criticism from human rights activists.

Garzon, who is well-known in Spain for his work against the terrorist organisation ETA, said the Declaration of Human Rights related to the environment and the eco-system and added that these aspects of the text should be “more reflected” today.

He also added that social and collective rights should be included in the document, which was signed by the United Nations.

Luisa Fernanda Rudi, president of parliament, said unfortunately too many countries still do not respect the fundamental rights which are in the document.

She added: “Unfortunately, in too many countries, there are millions of children who do not have these rights nor even the basic conditions to survive”.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news