SPAIN IS NOT FULFILLING ITS DUTIES ACCORDING TO INTERNATIONAL LAW

Press Release  •  Feb 07, 2012 00:53 GMT

Judge Garzón is a member of the Jury, representing Europe, for the international prize – the Edelstam Prize. The Edelstam Prize is awarded by the Edelstam Foundation for outstanding contributions and exceptional courage in standing up for one’s beliefs in the Defense of Human Rights.

“We know Mr. Baltasar Garzón as a Defender of the Human Rights, and as the Chair of the Edelstam Prize Jury, I feel very concerned with this trial as he is a person who is a proof of civil courage. We are observing that the Spanish State is not fulfilling its duties according to International Law and UN standards, of truth, justice, reparations for the victims and non-recurrence of Human Rights’ abuses. It is important for Spain to confront its history and give protection to the victims. The victims have not received justice, and the Judge investigating the recognition of their rights, is now himself being accused,” says Ms. Caroline Edelstam, Vice President of the Edelstam Foundation and Chair of the Edelstam Prize Jury.

The Edelstam Foundation encourages civil courage and observes that the trial ensures that people with civil courage are greeted with respect and that justice is preserved in order to protect the victims.

“The accusation for having investigated the Spanish dictatorship's abuses of human rights seems to me clearly biased and ungrounded. Actually, it is Spain, as State, who is not fulfilling its duties to investigate, prosecute, punish and repair, according to article two of the 1966 International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights. The mandatory mechanisms of transitional justice passed by the UN General Assembly are yet to be implemented in my country,” says Mr. Carlos Castresana-Fernandez, Prosecutor of the Spanish Supreme Court and Board Member of the Edelstam Foundation (pending authorization of the Attorney General Office of Spain).

The Edelstam Prize is to be awarded for the first time in April 2012.The winner of the Edelstam Prize can be a private person or a person who serves in Government, international or national organisations. The winner should be an individual who has acted in Ambassador Harald Edelstam’s spirit in a country/countries where Human Rights, according to international law, have been violated. The laureate must have shown outstanding capabilities in analysing and handling complex situations and in finding ways, even unconventional and creative ones, to defend Human Rights. The candidate has, presumably in a complex situation, been able to take a decisive role in helping threatened people or directly saving human lives. Civic courage is a central parameter in the selection of the successful candidate.

The international jury is chaired by Ms. Caroline Edelstam, Harald Edelstam’s granddaughter and Co-Founder of the Harald Edelstam Foundation. Justice Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner of Human Rights represents the North Americas, Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 2003, Judge Shirin Ebadi, represents Asia; Africa is represented by Dr. Pascoal Mocumbi, former Prime Minister of Mozambique (1994-2004). Professor Philip Alston, UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, represents Oceania. Latin America is represented by Chile’s former President Ricardo Lagos. Europe is represented by Judge Baltasar Garzón, who served on Spain's central criminal court and who is consistently fighting for Human Rights. Baltasar Garzón is most famous for indicting the Chilean self-proclaimed President, General Augusto Pinochet for the alleged deaths and torture of Spanish citizens.

“Harald Edelstam sets an example, under very difficult circumstances, in taking upon himself the defense of human rights. He is an example for people like me, who think that all efforts are too small to achieve justice in the world and to eliminate impunity from our legal systems. I very much appreciate the invitation to participate in the Prize Jury of the Edelstam Prize for Human Rights,” says Judge Baltasar Garzón, Member of the Edelstam Prize Jury.

The Edelstam Prize is named after, and awarded in the memory of, the Swedish diplomat, Ambassador Harald Edelstam (1913-1989). Harald Edelstam distinguished himself as diplomat by his professional competence, his bravery and his civic courage in the fight for Human Rights. He was an early proponent and symbol of what is today known as the ”Responsibility to Protect” and his memorable acts contributed to save more than a thousand lives.

 FOR FURHTER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Caroline Edelstam, Chair of the Edelstam Prize Jury and Vice President of the Harald Edelstam Foundation.

Tel: +46 706 98 72 23, E-mail: caroline.edelstam@edelstamprize.org

Carlos Castresana-Fernandez, Board Member of the Harald Edelstam Foundation and Prosecutor of the Spanish Supreme Court.

Tel: +34 91 33 52 112, E-mail: c.castresana@fiscal.es

 www.edelstamprize.org

The Harald Edelstam Foundation stands for a humanistic view, based on values and principles expressed in the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights of 1948, along with subsequent conventions and internationally accepted human rights law. The Foundation is a politically and religiously independent organization.

The Foundation’s ambition is to honor Harald Edelstam but also to encourage actions in the spirit of Harald Edelstam, by awarding a recurring prize, the Edelstam Prize.

The Edelstam Prize is awarded for outstanding contributions and exceptional courage in standing up for one’s beliefs in the Defence of Human Rights.

The Edelstam Prize is named after, and awarded in the memory of, the Swedish diplomat and Ambassador, Harald Edelstam (1913-1989). Harald Edelstam distinguished himself as diplomat by his professional competence, his bravery and his civic courage in the fight for Human Rights. He was an early proponent and symbol of what is today known as the ”Responsibility to Protect” and his memorable acts contributed to save more than a thousand lives.

The winner of the Edelstam Prize can be a private person or a person who serves in Government, international or national organisations. The winner shall be an individual who has acted in Ambassador Harald Edelstam’s spirit in a country/countries where Human Rights, according to international law, have been violated.

The laureate must have shown outstanding capabilities in analysing and handling complex situations and in finding ways, even unconventional and creative ones, to defend Human Rights. The candidate has, presumably in a complex situation, been able to take a decisive role in helping threatened people or directly saving human lives. Civic courage is a central parameter in the selection of the successful candidate.

The international jury is chaired by Caroline Edelstam, Harald Edelstam’s granddaughter and co-founder of the Harald Edelstam Foundation. Justice Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner of Human Rights represents the North Americas, Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 2003, Judge Shirin Ebadi, represents Asia; Africa is represented by Dr. Pascoal Mocumbi, former Prime Minister of Mozambique (1994-2004). Professor Philip Alston, UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, represents Oceania. Latinamerica is represented by former President in Chile Ricardo Lagos. Europe is represented by Judge Baltasar Garzón, who served on Spain’s central criminal court and who is consistently fighting for Human Rights. Baltasar Garzón is most famous for indicating the Chilenean president, General Augusto Pinochet for the alleged deaths and torture of Spanish citizens.

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