Friday, April 23, 2010


I make no apology for today returning to the campaign in support of the Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón. Below I repeat a message from Avaaz – and I urge you to sign the petition and urge your friends to do likewise. There are also numerous pages in support of Garzón on Facebook!

Thank you to my readers who have also copied me this Avaaz plea for help. At the end of the message from Avaaz are various articles in major newspapers from around the world that have spoken out in the judge’s defence. I would also urge you to click on the side bar link to the Alexander Bewick blog – where AB talks eloquently of the case facing the judge.

To sign the petition will take minutes. Inaction can affect us all.

Dear friends across Spain, The news is in -- Judge Garzón is to be tried on charges that could end his career, inflicting a fresh blow to the credibility of our justice system. A decision on whether to suspend his license is expected imminently.

The main charge, brought by extreme right lobby groups, is that he violated the 1977 Amnesty Law by investigating crimes against humanity -- including the disappearance of tens of thousands of people, during the civil war and its aftermath. But crimes against humanity cannot be amnestied under international law.

The Supreme Court now faces a historic choice: uphold the rule of law, or allow ideology and impunity to triumph over justice. They are under enormous pressure to bring Garzón down, but a massive public outcry could tip the balance. More than 70,000 of us have already raised our voices for democracy and universal human rights -- let's deliver a 100,000-strong petition to the Supreme Court and the General Council of the Judiciary this week. We have only days left -- take action below and forward this email widely now.

Whatever we think of Garzon, he has gained a reputation for his relentless efforts to seek justice, pursue brutal dictators, terrorists, drug mafias and corrupt politicians.

But the Supreme Court has admitted three complaints against him, two of which could impact on two crucial investigations for our democracy: the case of crimes against humanity, and the Gürtel case, one of the largest bribery and corruption scandals in our recent history.

The crimes against humanity case is straight forward -- these crimes are of such gravity that international law does not permit accused perpetrators to hide behind national amnesty laws, even if this law played a role at the time of our political transition.

If the court removes Garzon's license it will be undermining their commitment to universal human rights and with it our faith in the judicial system. This petition is about all of us, beyond our political or party allegiances, defending our democracy, which is already weakened by an acute economic and political crisis and a plague of corruption. Only through bold citizens' actions can we ensure that our political leaders and institutions work for the common good. This is our moment! Forward this email widely now:

With determination,

Luis, Alice, Benjamin, Iain, Ricken, Paul and the entire Avaaz team.

More information:

The New York Times, "An Injustice in Spain":

The Financial Times, "Garzón at bay":

The Economist, "Judge Not:

The Globe and Mail, "Political storm over Spain's most famous judge":

Crimes of War Project: "Spain's Memory War: Judge Halts Attempt to Enforce Justice for Franco's Killings":

1 comment:

Alexander Bewick said...

Update 23/04/10: Falange Española has been eliminated from the accusation against Garzón in the case against him for investigating crimes during the Franco era. The reason given by Supreme Court Judge Lucero Varela is that the ultra-right organization did not present his request for amendments to their accusation in time.

Room for another article on the judiciary: Political interference?