EFAY considers unacceptable the postponement of the trial against the policeman who physically assaulted Ivan Cortes

Originally published on February 14, 2011.

The trial against the policeman, who physically assaulted Ivan Cortes at Palma de Mallorca Airport for the sole reason that he was speaking Catalan, was expected to take place last Thursday, February, the 10th. The Secretary General of EFAy was invited, together with the Green’s MEP Raül Romeva i Rueda, to attend the trial, where they were expected to stand as international observers.

However, the trial was suspended, “due to technical reasons”, for the second consecutive time. Court officials were unable to establish a videoconference connection with the accused and the witness. Similar bungle and mishandling also jeopardized Saida Saadouki’s trial, as well a case of violation of linguistic rights.

The organization Obra Cultural Balear (which promotes Catalan language and culture and fights against linguistic discrimination) considers this act of the Spanish judicial system ridiculous and unacceptable.

Citizens are constitutionally entitled to a fair trial. Fairness, when it comes to justice, includes reasonable delays. This fundamental human right is stated in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. All EU member states, as signatories of this Convention, are responsible for a thorough implementation of this Convention. Failure to do so, by the Spanish State, must be considered a serious infringement upon fundamental Human Rights and betrays a critical erosion of the Spanish State’s constitutional responsibilities and obligations.

Politically, such a blunder represents yet another attempt of the Spanish State against Spain’s internal linguistic diversity. This double assault of the Spanish State, by two of its crucial institutions—Guarda Civil and Justice Department— against core rights betrays Spain’s great difficulty in respecting fundamental rights and letting Spanish diversity flourish.

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