How can EU and the international community allow that the atrocities of the Franco regime go unpunished? In 2010, a judge, Baltasar Garzón, trying to prosecute 114.000 ”disappearances” in Spain under the Franco regime had to stand trial himself for ”abuse of power” with reference to a 1977 ruling of ”amnesty” for Franco-era crimes:
”‘To open criminal proceedings for launching an investigation into human rights violations that took place in the past in this country is from the point of view of Amnesty International simply scandalous and unacceptable,” said Hugo Relvas, a legal adviser with Amnesty International, on the eve of the trial.”[my bold typing]
So, you cannot put an ”amnesty” on the perpetrators of such atrocities, since they are to be seen as crimes against humanity. Therefore, the EU and the international community must act promptly by making demands on the current Spanish government to abide by the United Nation’s call for an end to the 1977 amnesty law, in order to rehabilitate the victims and their families.
The relatives of the victims have a right to know what happened to their family members, and the victims of the Franco era crimes have a right to justice according to international laws.
”Garzón’s rigorous and principled interpretations of international law helped bring justice for grave human rights abuses in other countries. It is ironic that Spain is failing to live up to the standards that Garzón helped enforce abroad.
José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch”
Read: France24 – Spanish judge on trial for probing into Franco-era atrocities, Human Rights Watch – End Amnesty for Franco Era Atrocities, The Guardian – Wikileaks’ Baltasar Garzon, the man Snowden wants on his side, Reuters – Spain’s crusading ex-judge mulls helping Snowden, quartz – A few examples of Edward Snowden’s potential legal adviser in action, The National – Newsmaker: Baltasar Garzon is a legal eagle with singed wings, International Business – Pinochet Nemesis Garzón May Help Edward Snowden Find Refuge, Expatica – Famed Spanish Judge mulling request to defend Snowden, SVD, 2, 3, SVD – Himlens fånge – Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Traces of war – Memorial Murdered Democrats Franco Regime 1939-1975, Fossar de la Pedrera, Catholic Online – Atrocities of Franco dictatorship in Spain under investigation, The Telegraph – Franco victims’ relatives relive the terror, DN, 2, 3, 4, AB1, 2, Journalisten – Massövervakningen och mannen som saknas i den, SVD – Snowdens villkor för att återvända, SR, DN – USA avlyssnade EU-kontor