• Spain's news in English

Europe blasts Spain over torture record

George Mills · 9 Oct 2014, 11:58

Published: 09 Oct 2014 11:58 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Spain will have to pay compensation to two terrorists belonging to the Basque separatist groups Eta and Segi as a result of the court's ruling.

Beatriz Etxebarria Caballero will receive €24,000 ($30,500) and Oihan Unai Ataun Rojo ($29,000) after Spain failed to investigated claims they were mistreated and tortured while being held 'incommunicado', or without full rights.

Authorities did not carry out proper medical investigations to find out if torture or mistreatment had taken place while the prisoners were being held, the EHCR said in its ruling.

The court's decision was further evidence human rights could not be skirted in terror cases, the Open Society's Justice Initiative said.  

It also highlighted the critical obligations countries have to protect their suspects in police stations, the group added.

Marion Isobel, a legal officer at the Justice Initiative, said, "The court has long acknowledged that people in the custody of the police are particularly vulnerable and indeed, most acts of torture occur in the first hours or days of police detention. So this is not only a victory for human rights in Spain. The ruling is applicable to all states in Europe, many of whom still deny crucial safeguards to people in police custody."

In Spain, detainees can be held up to 13 days without contact with their families, and without access to their own lawyer, or an independent doctors.

The EHCR has now called on Spain to ensure greater protection for detainees including the right to contact one individual and inform them of there situation, confidential legal advice and competent medical assistance.

Story continues below…

Under EU law, countries have until November 2016 to make sure these conditions are in place.  

Caballero was in 2011 sentenced to 40 years in prison for her part in Eta's bombing of a military barracks in Burgos, which saw 66 people injured.  

Ataun Rojo was arrested in November 2008 as part of investigations into the Basque separatist group Segi.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

George Mills (george.mills@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Eta members made a ceasefire declaration in January, 2011. Photo: Gara / AFP

Five years after armed separatist group Eta declared a permanent ceasefire, Basque journalist Alberto Letona is still wondering when the dialogue will begin.

Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Call Crimestoppers if you recognize these faces.

These fugitives from British justice are thought to be hiding out in Spain. Do you recognize anyone?

Eta 'not dead' but Spain focus moves onto jihadism
Archive photo of a pro-mural in the Basque Country. Photo: AFP

Five years after Eta quit violence, the Basque separatist group has yet to dissolve but it poses little threat and authorities have shifted their focus to fight jihadists, says Spain's chief anti-terrorism prosecutor.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
Spanish team invents hands-free 'penis bidet'
In pics: Devastation caused by Costa Blanca wildfires
jobs available