Guernica 37
Guernica 37

New York Times: “Spain Court Drops Complaint Against Syrian Security Forces”

Image by: FDV

MADRID — A Spanish court on Friday dropped a criminal complaint brought against members of the Syrian security and intelligence forces by a woman seeking justice for her brother, ruling it lacked jurisdiction over the case.

The complaint was raised by a Spaniard who said her brother was arrested, tortured and executed in 2013 at a center in Damascus under the control of Syrian security forces.

The Spanish woman filed her case after identifying her brother from a cache of more than 50,000 photos smuggled out of the country by a Syrian forensics officer showing more than 6,000 people who had been tortured and mutilated.

A judge at the Madrid-based High Court agreed in March to investigate the lawsuit in March, the first case against Syrian security forces taken up overseas.

But a higher panel within the High Court ruled on Friday that the investigation should be dropped following an appeal by Spain’s state prosecutors.

The woman’s legal representatives, London-based Guernica 37, said they had not received any notification of the decision, but might lodge an appeal to the Spanish Supreme Court.

“This is a setback and we are of course disappointed, but this is just a step in the legal process. We remain confident in the strength of our case and the firm jurisdictional basis,” Guernica 37 said in a statement.

Under Spanish law, the examining magistrate investigates accusations brought in a criminal complaint before moving into a trial phase.

Spain was once a pioneer of “universal jurisdiction”, whereby judges could pursue criminal cases originating anywhere in the world. Spanish courts led investigations into human rights abuses in Argentina and Rwanda under this premise.

But the conservative government of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy moved to curb these powers in 2014, arguing that they could cause diplomatic conflicts, and it passed the new limits through parliament.

Cases now must have a clear Spanish connection to proceed.


This article was originally published on 21st July 2017 at The New York Times.

More News

  • Captura de pantalla 2017-10-20 a las 12.53.56 Trailer del documental “Berta Soy Yo”, con Almudena Bernabeu

    Trailer del documental “Berta Soy Yo”, con Almudena Bernabeu

    Read Story
  • Captura de pantalla 2017-10-20 a las 12.53.56 Teaser of the documentary film “Berta Soy Yo”, with Almudena Bernabeu

    Teaser of the documentary film “Berta Soy Yo”, with Almudena...

    Read Story
  • Captura de pantalla 2017-10-19 a las 20.08.21 First Meeting of the Guernica Group in London

    First Meeting of the Guernica Group in London

    Read Story
  • Captura de pantalla 2017-10-19 a las 20.08.21 Primera reunión del equipo Guernica en Londres

    Primera reunión del equipo Guernica en Londres

    Read Story
  • Captura de pantalla 2017-10-11 a las 20.10.51 1 Evento: proyección de la Trilogía de la Resistencia en Madrid

    Evento: proyección de la Trilogía de la Resistencia en Madrid

    Read Story
  • Captura de pantalla 2017-10-07 a las 9.35.41 Article: “Secrets, Lies, and the Case of Victor Jara”

    Article: “Secrets, Lies, and the Case of Victor Jara”

    Read Story
  • Captura de pantalla 2017-10-07 a las 9.00.08 Event: “Truth, Trials, and Memory: an Accounting of Transitional Justice in El Salvador and Guatemala”

    Event: “Truth, Trials, and Memory: an Accounting of Transitional Justice...

    Read Story
  • Captura de pantalla 2017-10-04 a las 11.09.44 Syria Untold: “Spanish Court Case Tests the Challenges of Universal Jurisdiction on Syrians”

    Syria Untold: “Spanish Court Case Tests the Challenges of Universal...

    Read Story
  • Captura de pantalla 2017-10-02 a las 11.44.24 Toby Cadman analyses U.N. Investigation of International Crimes in Yemen

    Toby Cadman analyses U.N. Investigation of International Crimes in Yemen

    Read Story
  • Captura de pantalla 2017-09-29 a las 23.01.45 ABC News: “Another hurdle removed in Salvadoran colonel’s extradition”

    ABC News: “Another hurdle removed in Salvadoran colonel’s...

    Read Story
  • Captura de pantalla 2017-09-28 a las 20.23.11 Preeminent Civil and Human Rights Attorney Paul Hoffman joins Guernica37

    Preeminent Civil and Human Rights Attorney Paul Hoffman joins Guernica37

    Read Story
  • Captura de pantalla 2017-09-28 a las 20.23.11 Paul Hoffman, prestigioso abogado de derechos humanos estadounidense, se une al equipo de Guernica37

    Paul Hoffman, prestigioso abogado de derechos humanos estadounidense, se une al...

    Read Story