Presentation of our Report on Torture in the Basque Parliament
In November 2014 I was part of a delegation of the organizations that participated in the Report titled “Incommunicado Detention and Torture: Assessments using the Istambul Protocol” spoke before the Basque Parliament Human Rights Commission. Some questions were asked but there was no questioning the contents of the report, not even by representatives of parties who had or had had competencies in terms of law and order. The version in Basque of the report can be seen here and the version in Spanish here.
The organizations that participated in the report were as follows: Argituz, AEN, Ekimen Elkartea, GAC, Jaiki-Hadi, OME and OSALDE. The report had been previously presented in September in Madrid.
To address the global prevalence of torture and the common denial of the existence of that torture by those responsible, in 1996, several organizations came together and began what would become a three-year process to develop the Manual on the Effective Investigation and Documentation of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (The Istanbul Protocol). This process involved more than seventy-five health, legal and human rights experts representing over forty organizations, including the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT). The result of this process was the first set of international guidelines for the investigation and documentation of torture and ill-treatment. Its overarching Principles on the Effective Investigation and Documentation
of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (The Istanbul Principles) were adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2000.The Istanbul Protocol and its Principles have since been applied in international and national courts and endorsed by the UN and other key human rights bodies. It is also the tool used in our report to ascertain the veracity of the victims’ reports, which is constantly questioned in Spain.
These are the reports in various newspapers of our visit to the Basque Parliament: