Amnesty criticizes Spain for restricting freedoms, ongoing evictions and mistreatment of immigrants

Amnesty Spain director Esteban Beltrán presenting AI global report 2015-16. Photo: Amnesty International via InfoLibre
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• Global rights report says Spain curtails freedoms of assembly, expression •

Amnesty International (AI) has denounced the Spanish government in its global report for 2015, saying Spain is in violation of various treaties on human rights for having legalized the summary expulsion of immigrants, for not having enacted norms regulating the punishment of torture and for having ejected from the public health rolls nearly 750,000 immigrants now left without basic healthcare.

In its annual report, AI also criticised restrictions on the freedom of assembly and free speech enacted by the conservative Popular Party (PP) under Spain’s so-called “Gag Law” (Ley Mordaza), the excessive use of force by police, expulsions of large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers from Spain’s North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla and ongoing forced evictions of renters and homeowners fallen behind on their mortgage payments.

The report also called for Spain to amend the country’s penal code regarding terrorism-related offenses, citing the recent arrest and imprisonment of two puppeteers in Madrid for allegedly “glorifying” terrorism and noting the United Nations has threatened to sanction Spain for unjustly jailing individuals on charges related to terrorism in order to curtail freedom of expression.

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