Spain: Garzón Trial Threatens Human Rights

Spanish Judge Challenged Amnesties in Spain, Worldwide

Human Rights Watch, January 13, 2012
  • Judge Baltasar Garzón leaves the Spanish High Court in Madrid on April 14, 2010.
    © 2010 Reuters
What bitter irony that Garzón is being prosecuted for trying to apply at home the same principles he so successfully promoted internationally. Thirty-six years after Franco’s death, Spain is finally prosecuting someone in connection with the crimes of his dictatorship – the judge who sought to investigate those crimes.
                —Reed Brody, counsel for Human Rights Watch

(Madrid) – The upcoming trial of the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón for investigating abuses from Spain’s past threatens the concept of accountability in Spain and beyond, Human Rights Watch said today.

Garzón’s prosecution in a second case, for issuing a judicial instruction to intercept lawyer-client communications in a corruption scandal, raised questions as to whether the judge is facing retaliation for his actions in controversial cases.

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