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Short Update: Association ALA requests appropriate Legal Assistance to Detainees in a letter addressed to the Superior Court of Justice in Madrid

FairTrialsAdmin - April 15, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, prison conditions, Access to a lawyer

In a letter addressed to the Superior Court of Justice in Madrid, the Asociacion Libre de Abogados y Abogadas (ALA) requested the Superior Court of Justice in Madrid, to take necessary measures to ensure the rights of the defendant to obtain proper legal assistance.  

ALA notes that they have been warned of a practice taking place during the initial hearings/arraignment. Even though the Judge, Prosecutor and Defence lawyer are allowed to congregate in person, the detainee is forced to remain in prison by an alleged and unmotivated risk of contagion.  

ALA makes clear that a detained has no more risk of spreading the virus that any of the other persons present in the room. This illogical, prejudiced and unjustified practice, puts the rights and guarantees of detainees at risk, being the latter unable to maintain personal and appropriate communication with their legal counsel before and after such an important appearance.  

Furthermore, ALA highlights that this practice, jeopardises the dignity of the detained person, who is presented as a person suspected of spreading the virus more intensely than other people, and is a flagrant violation to their right to be presumed innocent.  

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If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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