Header image for news printout

UN transitional justice expert Pablo de Greiff in first official visit to Spain

GENEVA (January 2014) – The UN Special Rapporteur on transitional justice* Pablo de Greiff will visit Spain from 21 January to 3 February 2014 to assess the measures adopted by the authorities relative to the gross human rights violations committed during the Spanish Civil War and under the Franco dictatorship.

“Transitional justice mechanisms do not aim at reopening the wounds of the past in a spirit of revanchism,” explained Mr de Greiff, announcing the first official visit to Spain of an independent expert on transitional justice appointed by the UN Human Rights Council.

“They seek to address and remedy the legacy of the abuses that affected hundreds of thousands of victims, promoting the recognition of their rights, reinforcing trust, especially in the public institutions, and strengthening the Rule of Law,” he said.

The Special Rapporteur stressed that the four elements of transitional justice - truth, justice, reparation and the guarantees of non-recurrence - need to be addressed in an interdependent and mutually reinforcing process. “Taken on their own, these elements fall short of redressing the impact left by massive human rights violations on people and society,” he added.

During his visit to Madrid, Andalucía, Cataluña and Galicia, Mr de Greiff will meet with representatives of the State, victims and civil society to ground his analysis and obtain a broad perspective on the different initiatives adopted in Spain and make recommendations to address the remaining challenges.

The independent expert will focus his attention on the measures adopted for the promotion of truth and memory, accountability and access to justice, the comprehensive reparation to the victims and their relatives, as well as measures to ensure that these violations never occur again.

“I hope that my visit will contribute in a constructive manner to the discussions and processes ongoing in the country,” the Rapporteur said.

At the end of his visit, the Special Rapporteur will hold a press conference in Madrid on 3 February 2014 at 14:00, to share with the media his preliminary conclusions and recommendations (Hotel AC Cuzco, Paseo de la Castellana 133).

The expert will submit a final report on the visit to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2014.

(*) Pablo de Greiff (Colombia) was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence. He is independent from any government and serves in his individual capacity. Mr. de Greiff has extensive professional and academic expertise on transitional justice issues, including on the four measures under this mandate (truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence).
Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/TruthJusticeReparation/Pages/Index.aspx

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Spain: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/ESIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Victoria Kuhn (+41 22 917 9278 / +41 79 444 9717 / vkuhn@ohchr.org) or Julia Raue (+ 41 22 917 9278 / jraue@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

UN Human Rights, follow us on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unitednationshumanrights
Twitter: http://twitter.com/UNrightswire
Google+ gplus.to/unitednationshumanrights   
Storify: http://storify.com/UNrightswire

Watch Navi Pillay’s Human Rights Day message: http://youtu.be/dhX-KbVbEQ0