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UN calls on Spain to fulfill 'obligation' to process culprits of Franco-era crimes

Special Rapporteur says exhuming dictator's body is a "positive step" but calls to extradite or prosecute those responsible for human rights abuses

 

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19 September 2018 04:54 PM

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ACN | Madrid

Spain must "fulfill its obligation" to extradite or prosecute those responsible for Franco-era crimes, the United Nations insisted this week.

While Spain's decision to exhume dictator Francisco Franco's body from the Valley of the Fallen is a "positive step," more needs to be done, said Fabián Salvioli, the UN's Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation, and guarantees of non-recurrence.

"Full reparations for all of the victims, not obstructing lawsuits filed in other countries, and fulfilling the obligation to extradite or prosecute those responsible," are among the actions the Spanish authorities must take, Salvioli told the Madrid media.

  • "Full reparations for all of the victims, not obstructing lawsuits filed in other countries, and fulfilling the obligation to extradite or prosecute those responsible"

    Fabián Salvioli ·  UN's Special Rapporteur

In 2015, Mariano Rajoy's conservative government turned down requests by a judge in Argentina to extradite some of those held responsible for crimes committed during the Franco regime, including former ministers who had ratified the deaths of people in opposition to the regime.

The Special Rapporteur also pointed out that his predecessor, Pablo de Greiff, had already called on Spain to "take steps in this direction" back in 2014, and in a report had recommended that the Valley of the Fallen be "redefined" so that it "does not continue as an affront to the victims of human rights abuses committed under the regime.”

The UN official is in Madrid at the invitation of an inter-parliamentary group on historical memory to "cooperate in everything related to the measures that the Spanish state must adopt to ensure the rights of the victims of violations committed during the civil war and the Franco era."

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  • Men wearing a francoist t-shirt at the Valley of the Fallen (by REUTERS)

  • Men wearing a francoist t-shirt at the Valley of the Fallen (by REUTERS)