Tags

Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

A follow up study of allegations of ill-treatment/torture in incommunicado detainees in Spain. Failure of international preventive mechanisms.
Torture. 2008; 18(2):87-98.T

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Proper documentation is an important factor in torture prevention, thus making systematic research studies necessary. According to international reports, torture/ill-treatment continues to exist in Spain in relation to Basque people arrested under anti-terrorist legislation (incommunicado detention). To improve the safeguards of these detainees, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) has visited Spain and published recommendations. However, the Spanish Government has not implemented these recommendations. The primary aims of this study were to analyze the methods of torture claimed by Basque incommunicado detainees during 2000-2005 and to compare them with the findings of a previous study (1992-1993), as well as to evaluate the impact of the CPT recommendations. The influence of variables related to police ill-treatment were also studied.

METHODS

This retrospective study is based on the testimonies given voluntarily by 112 Basques held incommunicado during 2000-2005. Testimonies were collected by a non-governmental organisation.

FINDINGS

Threats (91 percent) and beatings (89 percent) were the most frequent alleged methods, followed by suffocation, deprivation methods, forced body position, undressing and physical exercises (percentage between 49 percent and 29 percent). The frequency of suffocation, electricity, visual input reduced and threats was lower in 2000-2005 than in the 1992-1993 period. Different patterns of torture related to each police force were detected. The group arrested by the Guardia Civil alleged more severe torture methods, while the detainees arrested by Ertzantza alleged less severe ill-treatment. The prevalence of sexual torture was higher for women than for men. The present data are in consonance with the findings described for international organisms after their visits to Spain.

INTERPRETATION

These findings, in addition to other evidence, suggest that torture is still a serious problem in Spain in relation with Basque incommunicado detainees. This fact shows that national and international (mainly based on CPT visits) measures of control/prevention have failed. This study supports the importance of scientific statistical analysis in the documentation of human rights violations and its potential use in order to improve the forensic evaluation of torture victims.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Section of Forensic Pathology, Basque Institute of Legal Medicine, Spain. morentin.b@AJUej-gv.esNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19289885

Citation

Morentin, Benito, et al. "A Follow Up Study of Allegations of Ill-treatment/torture in Incommunicado Detainees in Spain. Failure of International Preventive Mechanisms." Torture : Quarterly Journal On Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture, vol. 18, no. 2, 2008, pp. 87-98.
Morentin B, Callado LF, Idoyaga MI. A follow up study of allegations of ill-treatment/torture in incommunicado detainees in Spain. Failure of international preventive mechanisms. Torture. 2008;18(2):87-98.
Morentin, B., Callado, L. F., & Idoyaga, M. I. (2008). A follow up study of allegations of ill-treatment/torture in incommunicado detainees in Spain. Failure of international preventive mechanisms. Torture : Quarterly Journal On Rehabilitation of Torture Victims and Prevention of Torture, 18(2), 87-98.
Morentin B, Callado LF, Idoyaga MI. A Follow Up Study of Allegations of Ill-treatment/torture in Incommunicado Detainees in Spain. Failure of International Preventive Mechanisms. Torture. 2008;18(2):87-98. PubMed PMID: 19289885.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - A follow up study of allegations of ill-treatment/torture in incommunicado detainees in Spain. Failure of international preventive mechanisms. AU - Morentin,Benito, AU - Callado,Luis F, AU - Idoyaga,M Itxaso, PY - 2009/3/18/entrez PY - 2008/1/1/pubmed PY - 2009/5/16/medline SP - 87 EP - 98 JF - Torture : quarterly journal on rehabilitation of torture victims and prevention of torture JO - Torture VL - 18 IS - 2 N2 - BACKGROUND: Proper documentation is an important factor in torture prevention, thus making systematic research studies necessary. According to international reports, torture/ill-treatment continues to exist in Spain in relation to Basque people arrested under anti-terrorist legislation (incommunicado detention). To improve the safeguards of these detainees, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) has visited Spain and published recommendations. However, the Spanish Government has not implemented these recommendations. The primary aims of this study were to analyze the methods of torture claimed by Basque incommunicado detainees during 2000-2005 and to compare them with the findings of a previous study (1992-1993), as well as to evaluate the impact of the CPT recommendations. The influence of variables related to police ill-treatment were also studied. METHODS: This retrospective study is based on the testimonies given voluntarily by 112 Basques held incommunicado during 2000-2005. Testimonies were collected by a non-governmental organisation. FINDINGS: Threats (91 percent) and beatings (89 percent) were the most frequent alleged methods, followed by suffocation, deprivation methods, forced body position, undressing and physical exercises (percentage between 49 percent and 29 percent). The frequency of suffocation, electricity, visual input reduced and threats was lower in 2000-2005 than in the 1992-1993 period. Different patterns of torture related to each police force were detected. The group arrested by the Guardia Civil alleged more severe torture methods, while the detainees arrested by Ertzantza alleged less severe ill-treatment. The prevalence of sexual torture was higher for women than for men. The present data are in consonance with the findings described for international organisms after their visits to Spain. INTERPRETATION: These findings, in addition to other evidence, suggest that torture is still a serious problem in Spain in relation with Basque incommunicado detainees. This fact shows that national and international (mainly based on CPT visits) measures of control/prevention have failed. This study supports the importance of scientific statistical analysis in the documentation of human rights violations and its potential use in order to improve the forensic evaluation of torture victims. SN - 1997-3322 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19289885/A_follow_up_study_of_allegations_of_ill_treatment/torture_in_incommunicado_detainees_in_Spain__Failure_of_international_preventive_mechanisms_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -