Catalans move to rescind Franco-era court martials

Arrest record of Catalan president Lluís Companys, executed in 1940. Photo: Fundació Josep Irla (FJI) / El Periódico
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• Legislation introduced to anul verdicts against regime’s political opponents
• 100,000 court martials, more than 4,400 executions in Catalonia under Franco

Legislation was introduced Monday in Catalonia’s regional Parlament that would rescind the verdicts of nearly 40 years of summary court martials carried out in Catalonia against political opponents of the Franco dictatorship, including the court martial resulting in the execution by firing squad in 1940 of former Catalan premier Lluis Companys.

Introduced by the pro-independence Junts pel Si coalition, the regional Podemos-backed SíQueEsPot alliance and the anti-capitalist CUP party, the legislation would anul the verdicts and pardon all political opponents of the regime tried and found guilty by court martial between April 1938 and December 1975, following the death of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco.

The draft legislation is based on a proposal presented to the parties on 11th May by the Catalan Comissió de la Dignitat (Commission of Dignity) and other groups seeking full enactment of the terms of Spain’s 2007 Historical Memory Law. According to a 2010 Catalan government study, there were more than 100,000 court martials conducted in Catalonia during the Franco-era, with 80,000 individuals sent to prison and at least 4,400 executions carried out for political reasons.

► Read More in Spanish at Público and El Periódico …

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