Suppression of Lawyers
During recent years, Basque lawyers have been arrested and sometimes prosecuted. Lawyers have mostly been arrested under the generic charge of ‘terrorism’, for having defended clients who are affiliated with the armed faction of ETA. The offices of the lawyers in question have been (illegally) searched and lawyers have been arrested and held incommunicado. There has been substantial media attention for these cases, and most of them resulted, after several years of (often incomminucado) detention, in dismissal or acquittal.
Some of the larger group of Basque lawyers against whom judicial measures have been taken are Julen Arzuaga (charges dropped in 2008), Aiert Larrarte (acquitted 2009), Iñaki Goioaga Llano (detained for one year and seven months in pre-trial detention, acquitted in 2012), Joseba Agudo Mancisidor (detained for two and a half years, acquitted in 2012), Alfonso Zenon (investigation still pending), Arantzta Zulueta, Jon Enparantza and Iker Sarrieg (released on bail, investigation still pending).
Legal practice in Spain
By the end of 2011, 130.00 lawyer were active in Spain. There are 83 Spanish Bars, coordinated by the General Council of Spanish Bars. The bars represent active and non-active lawyers (50.800 non-active lawyers in Spain in 2011).
International human rights treaties
Spain is party to the most important international human rights treaties, as well as all important European human rights treaties.
In October 2003 the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture visited the country, and the Working Group on the Universal Periodical Review reported on Spain in May 2010.