Deniz polisinden Adalar çevresinde 'deniz taksi' denetimi

UN experts on truth, justice, enforced disappearances and killings have warned Spain that new laws proposed by right-wing and far-right regional coalition governments to "whitewash" the Franco dictatorship could contravene international human rights standards.

Two years ago, Spain's socialist-led government passed a Democratic Memory law designed to bring "justice, reparations and dignity" to victims of the civil war and the dictatorship that followed.

Building on previous socialist legislation, the law included dozens of measures aimed at helping "Spanish democracy pay its debt to its past".

These measures include the creation of a census and national DNA bank to help find and identify the remains of tens of thousands of people still lying in unmarked graves; a ban on groups glorifying Franco's regime; and the "redefinition" of the Valley of the Fallen, the giant basilica and monument where Franco lay for 44 years until his exhumation in 2019.

The conservative Popular Party (PP) and the far-right Vox party, which oppose the law in Aragón, Castilla y León and Valencia, are seeking to replace it with "harmonization laws" in the three regions they govern in coalition.

Critics of the harmonization laws, including the national government and historical memory associations, have denounced them as a blatant attempt to minimize, justify or erase the horrors of the Franco era.

In a letter sent to the Spanish government at the end of April, three UN experts said that their knowledge of the proposed laws "could affect the Spanish state's human rights obligations, in particular, its obligation to guarantee the preservation of historical memory of serious human rights violations ...".

In Aragon, experts said, the proposed harmonization law could hinder public historical memory projects and cover up serious human rights violations committed during Franco's dictatorship, as the law does not mention or explicitly criticize the dictatorial nature of the regime. They also said the new law would "suppress many historical memory associations and activities" and shut down the regional government's historical memory web portal, which includes a map of mass graves.

In Castilla y León, they said, the proposed law does not use the word "dictatorship" in relation to the Franco era and does not explicitly condemn the human rights violations committed between the start of the civil war in 1936 and the return to democracy in 1978.

The trio said the law would "render invisible the serious human rights violations committed during the Franco dictatorship."

They also said that by referring to "all victims of social, political and terrorist violence and ideological and religious persecution," the law proposed by Vox in Valencia ignores the hundreds of thousands of victims of the civil war and Francoism.

The experts reminded Spain that it has a duty to the victims of enforced disappearances.

"The failure to investigate and prosecute these violations is in itself a failure to fulfil the rules enshrined in human rights treaties. Impunity for such violations can be an important factor in their recurrence," they said.

 

America News Agency

 

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