Amnesty International says Spain has backtracked on freedoms of expression and assembly for citizens

Esteban Beltrán, director of Amnesty International in Spain. Photo: EFE
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• AI Spain director says political parties should do more to protect rights

• Esteban Beltran says police power expanded, protection of public eroded

Spanish political parties currently campaigning in the run-up to Dec. 20th general elections have so far left an “unfinished agenda” when it comes to protection of human rights in Spain, according to the director of Amnesty International Spain.

Esteban Beltran said Spain has backtracked on its protection of freedom of expression and has yet to fully address the question of the whereabouts of the victims who were disappeared during the nearly 40-year regime of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.

In an interview published by the Europa Press news agency to coincide with international Human Rights Day on Dec. 10th, Beltran also cited as human rights issues the more than 700,000 immigrants in Spain who cannot be treated for infectious diseases because they lack health cards, as well as the refusal so far by Spain’s Congress legislate the public’s right to affordable housing.

Beltran also said that Spain’s so-called Public Safety Act, recently passed by a majority vote of the conservative ruling Partido Popular (PP), “expands police powers without safeguards for the public” and goes too far in constraining the freedoms of expression and assembly in Spain.

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