Last week Spain was found guilty (again) by the European Court of Human Rights for not investigating tortures inflicted by the Spanish Guardia Civil to Aritz Beristain, a Basque citizen arrested in 2002 for charges regarding Kale Borroka (street fighting).
In his report Beristain explained that “they put a bag around my head, which from time to time they squeezed to suffocate me, they hit me in the ribs […] and threatened me” Once incomunicated in Madrid Beristain explains that he was constantly hit in his testicles, ribs and head and some Guardia Civil members inserted an object in his anus. You can read the source here (in Catalan). Beristain was incomunicated for 5 days after which he showed the injuries that were never investigated by Spain.
And this week Spain was again found guilty regarding Arnaldo Otegi, the Basque independentist leader, who is currently in prison. Otegi said that the King of Spain was “responsible for the torturers” back in 2003 and for this was sentenced to one year in prison by the Spanish Supreme Court based on the grounds that Otegui’s words were “an obvious disrespect” to the Spanish King and the Monarchy “affecting his dignity” and therefore Otegui’s words cannot be “supported by the right of freedom of speech”. Just in case you didn’t know, the King of Spain according to the Spanish constitution is “inviolable and cannot be held accountable”.
In their ruling the Court of Human rights say that (link in Catalan) “the fact that the King is not accountable, according to the Constitution, cannot stop the debate about his institutional and symbolic responsibilities as the Head of State” and the Court also remarks (link in Catalan) that the special treatment received by the King does not abide to the spirit of the European Charter of Human Rights and basic freedoms.