The Progressive Union of Prosecutors (UPF) requests in a statement made public this Thursday that the new Memory Law, in addition to “guaranteeing the right to investigation” of the crimes committed during the Civil War or the Franco regime, include in its articles an “express reference” to the fact that “the investigation of these crimes will entail, when appropriate, the prosecution of those responsible and their criminal punishment”.
The new Memory Law will guarantee the right to investigation in Spain of Francoist crimes for the first time in 40 years
The group of prosecutors maintains that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, both ratified by Spain, provide for it. And remember that article 10.2 of the Constitution establishes that “the norms relating to fundamental rights and freedoms that the Constitution recognizes will be interpreted in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international treaties and agreements on the same matters ratified by Spain. “.
The new Democratic Memory Law, whose process began this Tuesday and that the Government estimates that it will come into force in the first semester of 2021, it includes a battery of measures that intends to take a further step towards the 2007 regulation and fill the gaps for which international bodies have been pointing out Spain for years. One of the keys to the draft, which consists of 66 articles, is the creation of a Prosecutor’s Office for Democratic Memory and Human Rights with which the State intends for the first time to “guarantee the right to investigation” of the crimes committed during the Civil War or the Franco regime, as stated in the text.
The Government maintains that, in this way, it is intended to ensure that all persons who have suffered torture, persecution or who want to recover the remains of their relatives can report and have an investigation of the facts. However, the obstacles to prosecutions based on the Amnesty Law or the argument of the prescription of the facts remain in force.
In this sense, UPF values that the preliminary draft tries to guarantee the right of the victims to “truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition” and understands that by making an “express reference” to international human rights law “it is unequivocal in the consideration of the imprescriptible and inamnerable character of the crimes against humanity, and its subjection to the special principle of international legality, with absolute prohibition of impunity ”.
In the opinion of this professional organization, the draft is “a great advance for the necessary democratic normalization” that will allow “overcoming” the “serious deficiencies” existing up to now in compliance with International Human Rights Law.