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|18-03-2011, 01:41 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2007
Europe : The end of lese majeste ?
Spain to pay Basque leader after court rules insulting the king is not a crime
Tuesday 15 March 2011
European court of human rights says Arnaldo Otegi must be compensated after being sentenced to jail for insulting King Juan Carlos
Arnaldo Otegi was sentenced to jail for claiming Spain's King Juan Carlos 'protects torture'.
Photograph: Pedro Armestre/AFP/Getty Images
Spain must compensate the radical Basque separatist leader Arnaldo Otegi after wrongly sentencing him to jail for insulting King Juan Carlos, the European court of human rights has decided.
The court in Strasbourg ruled on Tuesday that Spain must pay €23,000 (nearly £20,000) in compensation to Otegi for breaching his right to freedom of expression after he accused the Spanish monarch of protecting police torturers.
Otegi made his comments after police raided and closed down the Basque-language Egunkaria newspaper in February 2003. The editor, Martxelo Otamendi, and other executives, claimed they were tortured. When Juan Carlos visited the Basque country soon afterwards, Otegi said that as "supreme head of the civil guard police force", the monarch was effectively in command of those who had tortured Egunkaria staff.
Otegi claimed the king "protects torture and imposes his monarchical regime on our people through torture and violence". Three years later a Spanish court found him guilty of insulting the king, handing down a one-year suspended jail sentence and imposing costs.
But the Strasbourg court has decided Otegi was within his rights as a politician to air his grievances against the king, though the torture allegations were never proved.
Otegi's remarks were "made in his capacity as elected member of and spokesperson for a parliamentary group …in the context of the recent closure of the Egunkaria newspaper and the complaint alleging ill-treatment", the Strasbourg judges ruled.
They accepted that his words "could be understood as contributing to a wider public debate on the possible responsibility of the state security forces in cases of ill treatment".
Spanish judges last year threw out a case alleging that Otamendi and other Egunkaria executives had collaborated with Eta. The decision came too late to save Egunkaria.
Four civil guard police officers were found guilty last December of torturing members of an Eta unit that killed two people with a bomb at Madrid's Barajas airport in 2006.
Otegi is one of a group of separatist leaders now trying to persuade Eta to end four decades of terrorism.
"Keeping quiet while monks and other peaceful protesters are murdered and jailed is not evidence of constructive engagement." - Arvind Ganesan, Human Rights Watch.
"I think...I think it's in my basement. Let me go upstairs and check" - M.C. Escher
|18-03-2011, 02:40 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2007
Prachatai is also carrying this story and has the following information which is not included in the OP from the guardian.co.uk .
Otegi Mondragon v. Spain (application no. 2034/07), which is not final 1
1 Under Articles 43 and 44 of the Convention, this Chamber judgment is not final. During the three-month period following its delivery, any party may request that the case be referred to the Grand Chamber of the Court. If such a request is made, a panel of five judges considers whether the case deserves further examination. In that event, the Grand Chamber will hear the case and deliver a final judgment. If the referral request is refused, the Chamber judgment will become final on that day.
Once a judgment becomes final, it is transmitted to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe for supervision of its execution. Further information about the execution process can be found here: www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/execution
An elected representative
|18-03-2011, 07:02 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Last Online: 09-06-2013 01:02 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
The EU should start imposing its judgements on Human Rights far and wide and jail those that violate them.
Judges that impose LM judgements inside or travelling to the EU? Into the jail with you!
|18-03-2011, 10:29 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Last Online: Yesterday 11:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Dark side of the room
Democracy , contrary to popular belief and wishes, comes slowly step by step.
Franco died in 1975 and Spain became a democracy a few years after and is still a young democracy according to European measures so don't be too harsh when judging them.
|19-03-2011, 01:19 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Last Online: Yesterday 08:40 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: in t' naughty lass
Amazing how Human Rights can be used simultaneously by far left regimes to protect and serve foreign criminals; and prevent an occupied autochthonous ethnic group from having self-determination from occupying powers, that are supposedly liberal and democratic; i.e. France and Spain's continued occupation and slow ethnocide of the Basque people.
Ranks along with flag-desecration, blasphemy, and sedition in the annals of incipient law.
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