Case 18

Carolina Martínez and Clemente Bernad

Two filmmakers at risk of going to prison because of recording images in the crypt of a Francoist monument.

The prosecutor requests two years in prison and a fine of 12,000 euros to the artists Carolina Martínez and Clemente Bernad for an alleged crime of disclosure of secrets of the Spanish Civil Code.


Carolina Martínez and Clemente Bernad are awaiting the resolution of a trial that was held on November 14 and 15, 2018. The Brotherhood of Volunteer Knights of the Cross (Hermandad de los Caballeros Voluntarios de la Cruz) denounced them for recording images of a mass in the crypt of the Monument to the Fallen (Monumento a los Caídos) of Pamplona. The recording was taken from one of the ventilation grills that connects the crypt with the rest of the building, property of the City council. The prosecutor requests that Martìnez and Bernad face a two year prison sentence and a fine of € 12,000, for a crime of disclosure of secrets. The recording was part of the documentary “A tvs mvertos”, which was broadcast in January 2017 during a conference entitled “What do we do with the Monument to the Fallen?”.

Image from: el


The Brotherhood of Volunteer Knights of the Cross was created in 1939 by requetés ex-combatants (Carlist militia during the Spanish Civil War) in order “to maintain fully and aggressively if necessary the spirit that led Navarra to the Crusade for God and Spain”. In accordance with the Spanish Law of Historical Memory (2007), the Brotherhood modified its statutes in 2006. The law was to regulate the display of Francoist symbology and the digging out of Spanish civil war mass graves.

The Brotherhood celebrates a mass in the crypt of the Monument to the Fallen on the 19th of each month, so as to coincide with the day in which the Francoist coup took place in Navarre. This ceremony is conducted in the same place from where the General officers involved in the coup, Emilio Mola and José Sanjurjo, were exhumed.

In February 2015, the Parliament of Navarre and the City Council of Pamplona urged the Archdiocese to put an end to any type of celebration in the crypt that was related to the coup of 1936. However, the Brotherhood continues to do the Masses in the crypt.

Although the filmmakers were accused of revealing secrets, they had in fact obtained permission for the recordings from the City Council. These recordings were to be used by the filmakers to produce a documentary.

The outcome

The prosecutor maintains the accusation of revelation of secrets and requests a two year jail sentence alongside a fine of € 12,000, for recording a mass of an association of Francoist origin from a ventilation grill in a public building. Currently the accused are awaiting sentencing.

In view of these events, various civil groups have demonstrated in favor of the accused, such as the Spanish Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory.

The Parliament of Navarre approved (on November 12th, 2018) a resolution expressing its solidarity with the accused, its opposition to the judicial persecution of those carrying out investigations linked to historical memory, and its objection to the politicization of justice.

Violated rights

Democratic countries protect the free exercise of journalism, as well as the freedom of information, due to their essential role in democratic societies. The Spanish Constitution also contains these provisions and protects these rights as fundamental rights, in accordance with international treaties.


On the other side, the masses in the crypt and the Monument to the Fallen may constitute a criminal offence, set forth in Articles 510 and 515.4 of the Criminal Code, on the public promotion of hatred against a group. Moreover, the Historical Memory Law 52/2007 prohibits commemorative actions of exaltation, personal or collective, of the military uprising and the repression of the Dictatorship. It also provides for the withdrawal of subsidies or public aid.


-Description of facts (in Spanish):

-The Parliament of Navarre sympathizes with Clemente Bernad and Carolina Martínez (in Spanish):

-Interview to Clemente Bernad and Carolina Martínez in at EITB TV program (in Spanish):

-Interview on the program La Frontera on Publico TV (in Spanish):

-Documental “A tvs mvertos”, done by Clemente Bernad and Carolina Martínez (In Spanish):

-Manifest “Freedom is not a crime” in support of Clemente Bernad and Carolina Martínez (in Spanish):

-The ARMH denounces to the prosecutor Francoist Masses in Navarra (in Spanish):

-Review of the meeting in which the documentary was screened (in Spanish):

-Response of the Brotherhood to the Commission of the Presidency, Justice and Interior of the Parliament of Navarre (in Spanish):

-The Parliament of Navarre denounces the judicial persecution (in Spanish):


-Institutional declaration of the Parliament of Navarre (in Spanish):

-Act of the Plenary Session of the City Council of Pamplona, ​​February 15, 2015 (in Spanish):

-Daily Session of the Parliament of Navarra, February 4, 2015 (in Spanish):

-Text of complaint presented by the ARMH to the Attorney General of Navarre (in Spanish):

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