• The organization condemns the attacks in both Barcelona and Cambrils in which at least 14 people have died.
• Deliberate attacks against civilians are a crime under international law.
Madrid / Barcelona: At least 13 people died and more than 100 were injured yesterday, 17 August, when a van deliberately ploughed into crowds of people in Las Ramblas in Barcelona, one of the town’s main tourist areas.
According to official sources, several hours later, in the early hours of 18 August, another attack took place in Cambrils (Tarragona) which left at least one person dead. According to reports, the Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan Regional Police) thwarted the second attack when five people were shot while attempting to carry out a similar attack to the one in Barcelona. According to official sources, the five people, who are confirmed dead, were wearing fake explosive devices.
Amnesty International has condemned these attacks which it believes may constitute a crime against humanity. The organization notes that the state security forces have confirmed that both attacks, as well as the explosion in Alcanar (Tarragona) on 16 August which left one person dead and another injured, are connected. It is for this reason that, should the information made public by the authorities be confirmed, the organization believes these attacks form part of a widespread and systematic attack against the population in Spain in support of the policy of an organization. “As such, this would be a serious human rights abuse. Crimes against humanity, because of their heinous nature, concern the entire international community and are not subject to a statute of limitations”, said Esteban Beltran, Director of Amnesty International.
“No one can justify such actions. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, to whom we send our full support and solidarity,” said Esteban Beltrán.
“The Spanish authorities must carry out an independent, thorough and immediate investigation in line with international standards to bring to justice all those suspected of criminal responsibility for the attacks. The victims also have a right to truth, justice and full reparation”, he added.
Amnesty International took part in the tribute that took place today in Barcelona and its headquarters held a minute’s silence with the message “No hate. No fear”.
“In such difficult times it is important to avoid any kind of hate speech and to remember that we must always respond to attacks like these with resoluteness, confidence and respect for human rights,” said Beltrán.