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Law should prevail over passions

This is an article I wrote in October 2014 with my friends and colleagues in Argituz, Miguel Angel Navarro and Benito Morentin. In it, we criticise the extremely serious character of the policy adopted by Spain of not investigating torture. The European Court of Human Rights was repeatedly condemning Spain for not investigating torture reports. Unfortunately today the situation has not changed. We could send pretty much the same article to the press again, it is still completely relevant.

This is the beginning of the article:

“Jean-Baptiste Henri-Dominique Lacordaire, a French religious man, a journalist and political activist, who re-established the Dominican order in post-1798 revolution France -and who was not, therefore, a dangerous revolutionary- worked hard in favor of freedom of expression, and for freedom of the press and education. He also said that «freedom is only possible in those countries in which law prevails over passions”. He was quite right.
Last 7th October, the European Court of Human Rights condemned Spain to paying Ohian Ataun Rojo 24,000 euros, and Beatriz Etxebarria Caballero 29,000 euros in moral damages, expenses and costs. Such sentences are pronounced because the crimes of torture both had reported were not duly investigated: in Beatriz Etxebarria’s case, she also reported having been raped with a stick. As from 2010, we need to add to the amounts already mentioned another 70,000 euros plus costs, taxes and interests that the Spanish State has had to pay in another three previous sentences from the same Court, those corresponding to Mikel San Argimiro Isasa, Aritz Beristain Usar and
Martxelo Otamendi Egiguren.
It is Argituz’s opinion, however, that money is not the determining factor here. The determining, relevant and extremely worrying factor here is the seriousness in the reocurrence of a State that is condemned once and again for not investigating such serious crimes as torture.

In due course I shall be fully translating all my articles and this one will not be an exception. In the meantime, you can read the article in its original Spanish version, in the links below.

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