The UN OHCHR Special Rapporteur on the Rights to the Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association, Annelisa Ciampi, will be conducting a country visit to Spain in early December.
In preparation for the visit the European Language Equality Network (ELEN) and its member organisations in the Spanish state have started working to gather evidence of infringements of the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of association, in order to submit the information to the Special Rapporteur.
Infringements of these rights occurred, for example, during the run-up to the referendum in Catalonia, against Catalan voters on October 1st, and with the attacks on people in Valencia celebrating the Valencian Diada on October 9th. Further evidence will be sent in from the Basque Country, Galicia, Asturias, Aragon, and Illes Balears.
The country visit had already been organised before the police violence against Catalan voters on October 1st.
Other civil rights organisations in the Spanish state are encouraged to send in reports on the contravention of these rights to the Special Rapporteur.
The mandate of the Special Rapporteur includes:
- “(a) To gather all relevant information, including national practices and experiences, relating to the promotion and protection of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, to study trends, developments and challenges in relation to the exercise of these rights, and to make recommendations on ways and means to ensure the promotion and protection of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in all their manifestations;
- (f) To report on violations, wherever they may occur, of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, as well as discrimination, threats or use of violence, harassment, persecution, intimidation or reprisals directed at persons exercising these rights, and to draw the attention of the Council and the High Commissioner to situations of particularly serious concern;
Complaints can also be submitted directly following the guidelines on this link:
The rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are enshrined in a number of international human rights instruments, from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 20(1)) to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Articles 21 and 22). Similar protections exist in a number of other human rights instruments as well, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights(Articles 10 and 11), the American Convention on Human Rights (Article 11), and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Article 12).