Basques say Spain hinders Franco-era rights inquiry

María Servini, the Argentine judge investigating Franco-era rights abuses in Spain. Photo: EFE via El Diario
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• Legislators fault ‘delaying and obstructionist’ tactics over Franco-era abuses
• Resolution says Rajoy gov’t blocking Argentine judge’s ongoing rights probe

Legislators in the Basque regional parliament have denounced what they’ve called the Spanish government’s “delaying and obstructionist” tactics vis a vis an ongoing investigation by an Argentine judge into human rights abuses during Spain’s 1936-39 Civil War and 35-year Franco dictatorship that followed.

Argentine judge María Servini, who is investigating a series of allegations of forced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial killings by forces loyal to Gen. Francisco Franco during the war and under his 35-year dictatorial regime thereafter, was rebuffed in her request for assistance from by Spain’s Interior Minister in April, when Servini attempted to visit Spain to interview 19 former high-ranking Franco era officials over rights-abuse allegations.

In a resolution passed with the votes from the Partido Nacional Vasco (PNV, Basque Nationalist Party), EH Bildu (Basque Country Unite) and the Partido Socialista de Euskadi (PSE, Socialist Party of the Basque Country), the legislators directly criticized the conservative Partido Popular (PP) government of acting-President Mariano Rajoy for failing to honor the existing Treaty for Extradition and Judicial Assistence between Argentina and Spain and for using Spain’s Amnesty Law of 1977 to avoid its obligation under international law to address allegations of historic human rights violations during the Franco era.

► Read More in Spanish at El Diario and Noticias de Gipuzkoa …

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