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UN expert urges Spain to reform legal standards for treatment of suspected terrorists

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism Martin Scheinin [official website; JURIST news archive] praised anti-terrorism efforts in Spain [JURIST news archive] Wednesday, but urged Spanish officials to reform the country's legal standards for treatment of terror suspects [UN OHCHR press release]. The Special Rapporteur's comments came in response to concerns over allegations of torture and ill-treatment [Amnesty Int'l press releases] of terrorism suspects in Spanish jails. At the conclusion of his visit to Spain, Scheinin called on authorities to be mindful of international frameworks regarding human rights when investigating acts of domestic terrorism such as those perpetrated by the Basque separatist group ETA [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive], or incidents of international scope, including the 2004 Madrid train bombings [JURIST news archive].

In February, 20 suspected Islamic terrorists were convicted [JURIST report] of lesser charges in conjunction with a plot to bomb the National Court in Madrid. That same month, Spanish officials confirmed [JURIST report] the arrests of the remaining ETA suspects in the 2006 Madrid airport bombings. In December 2007, 47 Basque separatists were convicted [JURIST report] by a Spanish anti-terrorism court of either leading, being a member of, or collaborating with a terrorist organization. In October 2007, three terror suspects were convicted of murder for their roles in the 2004 Madrid train bombings.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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