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CAT status Status under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment State Party since 21 October, 1987. State Party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention (OPCAT) since 4 April, 2006
Reviewed 2015

Spain

At a glance

Despite Spain’s commitments to international law, including the Convention against Torture, human rights defenders face repression of their freedom of expression, insults, disqualifications, threats, acts of harassment, and are arrested on the basis of an improper use of criminal law that resorts to criminal definitions such as hate crime, defamation, or exaltation of terrorism. In 2019, the OMCT made an urgent appeal on the arrest of a human rights activist who was denouncing ill-treatment in prison. There are also concerning issue of police abuse and excessive use of force during peaceful protests where violent incidents are frequently reported. The Spanish authorities fail to carry out prompt, impartial and effective investigations into complaints for the frequent use of torture by law enforcement and other security forces, including during detention. The United Nations Committee Against Torture has expressed its concern that such practices will foster a culture of impunity among law enforcement. There are also shortcomings regarding the protection of women, with frequent obstacles to lodging complaints, accessing the necessary protection measures, and obtaining reparation for the victims.

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