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UN warns Spain of obligation to remember Franco-era human rights violations

Conservative People's Party and far-right Vox have enacted "concordia" laws in three Spanish regions

By Catalan News

May 6, 2024

Credits @FFHR.CZ

The UN has urged the Spanish government to take "all necessary measures" to guarantee "strict respect for international human rights standards" in matters of preserving historical memory. 

According to a report released on Friday, three UN experts have expressed alarm over the "concord" laws introduced by the conservative People's Party and far-right Vox in three of Spain's Autonomous Communities – Aragon, Castile and Leon, and Valencia. 

The laws could affect the state's obligation – and that of local authorities – regarding human rights and the preservation of historical memory. 

"We would like to recall once again the obligation of the state as a whole to guarantee the preservation of the collective memory regarding the manifest violations of human rights, such as those committed during the Franco dictatorship and the Civil War," the UN experts said.  

The Spanish government has said it will fight the laws in Spain's Constitutional Court, as well as bringing them to the UN and the EU.  

Democratic memory law 

In July 2022, the Spanish Congress approved a new democratic memory law declaring the Franco regime illegal and nullifying the rulings of its courts. 

Catalan independence parties did not support it, claiming it did not go far enough. 

The so-called "concordia" laws in regions where the PP and Vox govern in coalition are an attempt to roll back the Spain-wide law brought by the Socialist-led government, which includes the creation of a DNA bank to help identify remains in unmarked graves and a ban on groups that glorify Franco's dictatorship. 


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