On 16 July 2020, ADHRB has delivered an oral intervention at the United Nation Human Rights Council session 44 during Spain UPR.
We would like to hear some commitments from Spain that they will implement the accepted recommendations. Indeed, we consider that the last UPR’s recommendations have not been fully implemented, which is very problematic.
We are very concerned about the ongoing legal harassments and threats made to human rights defenders, especially restrictions of human rights defenders’ freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in the context of the Catalan crisis. We consider that criminalization and stigmatization of human rights defenders working on the rights of migrant people and refugees and the systematic campaign including gender base violence and online harassment against women rights defenders by the Spanish authorities, undermine the work of human rights defenders in the country.
We are very concerned about the lack of accountability, corruption, and nepotism. Reports indicates that high level officials and members of the royal family engages in briberies to make arm sale possible to Saudi Arabia to be used in the war in Yemen. We consider that these arm sales are very problematic and need to be investigated in a comprehensive manner and officials who broke the law, need to be held accountable.
We consider that selling Spanish football sport teams to known human rights violators, who use it as a public relations whitewash tool to cover their human rights violations is outrageous. In this regard we are specifically talking about the purchase of Cordoba football team by a company owned by Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Alkhalifa and Shaikh Naser bin Hamad Alkhalifa whom have been allegedly engaged in serious corruption and human rights violations cases. The Alkhalifa ruling family of Bahrain has been engaged in systematic human rights violations of the people of Bahrain but now they are using the Spanish team Cordoba as a whitewash for their violations.
Our question to the Spanish government; are you concern about such behavior? What steps are you going to take to ensure that human rights violators like the Alkhalifa will not use Spanish sport teams to white wash their human rights violations?