Case 17

Tamara Carrasco

Tamara Carrasco, activist of the CDR of Viladecans: "my jail is twenty square kilometers."

On October 8, her lawyer, Tamara, and her support group, convened a press conference where they disclosed a National Court’s interlocutory decree dated October 2, that stated that they will maintain the precautionary measures on Ms. Carrasco because “the activity of the CDR continues which has not stopped for the moment”. 

Description

On April 10, 2018, Spanish Civil Guard officers knocked at the door of Tamara Carrasco’s home, searched the place, confiscated various materials and arrested her on charges of sedition, rebellion and belonging to a terrorist organization. On the basis of these charges, Tamara Carrasco was transferred to Madrid and placed at the disposal of the National Court, a special court, heir of the Francoist “Public Order Court”, which acts in cases of terrorism and had ordered her detention.

On October 8 2018, Tamara, along with her lawyer and her support group, convened a press conference where they disclosed a National Court decision dated October 2, that stated that the cautionary measures on Ms. Carrasco would not be lifted because “the activity of the CDR continues and has not stopped up to now”.

Image from: PRP

Before

Tamara Carrasco took part in the activities of the Republic Defence Committee (CDR) of her city, Viladecans, and participated in actions of peaceful protest against the imprisonment of Catalan pro-independence politicians and in favour of the Republic. At home, Tamara had a variety of CDR material: posters, shirts, yellow ribbons, whistles and a cardboard mask with the face of Jordi Cuixart, one of the jailed po-independence activists. The confiscated materials also included a Google Maps itinerary that, according to Ms. Carrasco, was for her to be able to find a Civil Guard police station in Barcelona so as to get to a demonstration in front of the building.

 

All this material was confiscated by the Civil Guard. Recordings on her WhatsApp account that referred to protest actions to paralyse the country (road cuts and blocking access to market places) were taken as well. These recordings were immediately leaked to the media in the hope of fuelling a terrorist narrative by the media against independence. In no case was there evidence of any terrorist or even simply violent action committed by Ms. Carrasco.

The outcome

Forty-eight hours after the detention of her arrest, Judge Diego de Egea, a judge from the Military Juridical Corps, appointed as a judge in support of court no. 6 of the National Court, dictated the provisional release of Ms. Carrasco. The judge’s interlocutory decree questioned the accusations of rebellion, sedition, and terrorism held by the public prosecutor and imposed on Tamara Carrasco the ban on leaving her municipality, except to go to work, and the obligation to report every week to the nearest court, which is in the nearby city of Gavà.

Tamara Carrasco arrived back from Madrid without any legal accusation based on specific facts. On October 8, with her lawyer and her support group, Tamara held a press conference where they disclosed a National Court’s decision dated October 2, that stated that it would maintain the cautionary measures on Ms. Carrasco because “the activity of the CDR continues and has not yet stopped”. At this press conference Benet Salellas, Tamara Carrasco’s lawyer, denounced “the grave violation of fundamental rights that denying her freedom because of what other people do entails.” According to Mr. Salellas, this decision “blows up the foundations of the very rule of law and the principle of protecting citizens’ fundamental rights that ought to govern it.”

A few weeks later, early in November, unable to prove the initial accusation of terrorism and after six months of Ms. Carrasco’s confinement, Judge De Egea issued a new decision, withdrawing from the case. He did not however transfer it to a specific court, but did so in a generic way, so that the chief courts of Barcelona, Lleida, Tarragona and Girona could decide.

This inhibition without specifying a court to which the case should be transferred left Ms. Carrasco in limbo and prevented her from having an effective investigating court before which to put forward her defence and which could allow the lifting of the ban on leaving her municipality, which is still in force.

During this time, the National Court – it being the only competent court which the lawyer could approach – was again asked to lift the cautionary measures, and it refused to do so again on the sole grounds that “the facts are very serious”. Tamara Carrasco still does not know what offences she is alleged to have committed.

On 16 January 2019 (the same day that sixteen independence activists, including two mayors, were detained illegally in Girona) she knew -through pressearned through the press that her case was being taken up by a Gavà court and that she was not even accused of public disorder. Later a Barcelona court also claimed her case. Nowadays, she has not yet received any official news from these specific courts.

Her confinement was not lifted for her to attend her best friend’s wedding, or even to let her visit her mother in hospital when she had an accident.

There was a large demonstration in her home town in April 2019, a year after her original detention

Violated laws

The arrest of Tamara Carrasco, the circumstances in which it occurred, the disproportion between the crimes that were initially alleged and those that will eventually be taken to court, after months of confinement of the person accused, amount to the violations of several fundamental rights protected under articles 20, 21, 22 and 23 of the Spanish Constitution: those of association, freedom of speech, and freedom of participation in public affairs. These rights are also protected under articles 9, 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and articles 19, 22 and 25, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations (PIDCP), both ratified by Spain.

Moreover, the legal status of Tamara Carrasco, who for months was not assigned a specific court in charge of investigating her case, is a violation of the right to effective judicial protection enshrined in article 24 of the Spanish Constitution. This same right is also protected, in different terms, in article 14 of the ICCPR and article 6 of the ECHR. Moreover, this goes against the provisions of the Spanish Criminal Procedure Act in articles 15, 18 and 25.

Ms. Carrasco’s confinement in her town of residence restricts the freedom of movement that article 19 of the Spanish Constitution recognizes and grants to all citizens.

References

List of alleged evidences against Tamara Carrasco (in Catalan): https://www.elnacional.cat/ca/politica/llista-proves-cdr-google-maps-xiulet-groc_257361_102.html

Tamara Carrasco’s WhatsApp recording that was used as evidence against her, disseminated by El Confidencial, the day she was arrested (in Catalan): https://soundcloud.com/el-confidencial/archivo-de-audio-difundido-por-la-arrestada

Article on the National Court decision after her arrest on April 2018 (in Catalan): https://www.naciodigital.cat/noticia/152584/audiencia/nacional/deixa/llibertat/activista/dels/cdr/no/imputa/terrorisme

Article on the refusal of the National Court to let Tamara Carrasco visit her mother in hospital (in Spanish): https://www.elnacional.cat/es/politica/audiencia-nacional-tamara-carasco-permiso-madre_286164_102.html

Tweet by Salellas Advocats attaching a copy of the National Court decision to defer to the dean Courts of Barcelona, Lleida, Tarragona and Girona (in Catalan and Spanish): https://twitter.com/salellasadv/status/1060175068096053248

In-depth interview of Tamara Carrasco: “All governments fear a mobilized people” (in Catalan): https://www.publico.es/public/tamara-carrasco-tots-els-governs-els-fa-poble-mobilitzat.html

 

The National Court stops investigating Tamara Carrasco and Adrià Carrasco (in English): https://spainsnews.com/the-national-court-stops-investigating-tamara-carrasco-and-adria-carrasco/

The National Court extends Tamara Carrasco’s confinement because “the CDR continue to be active” (in Catalan): https://elmon.cat/politica/laudiencia-nacional-prorroga-confinament-tamara-carrasco-cdr-continuen-actius

 

The case against Tamara and Adrià Carrasco is finally deferred to an ordinary court. The State prosecutor states that the alleged crimes of public disorder and inciting to disorder have to be investigated where they allegedly took place (in Catalan): https://www.vilaweb.cat/noticies/jutjat-ordinari-tamara-adria-carrasco/

Tamara Carrasco says in an interview that she feels as if she were in a prison cell without bars (in Spanish): https://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20190410/461577593802/tamara-carrasco-viladecans-prision-barrotes-ano-despues-detenida-terrorismo.html

 

Demonstration in Viladecans a year after Tamara’s original detention (in Catalan):  http://www.elpuntavui.cat/politica/article/17-politica/1586000-manifestacio-contra-un-any-del-segrest-legal-de-tamara.html

Documents

Spanish Constitution – consolidated text- Second chapter on rights and feeedoms (in Spanish):

https://www.boe.es/buscar/act.php?id=BOE-A-1978-31229&tn=1&p=20110927#csegundo

 

European Covenant of Human Rights (in English):

https://www.echr.coe.int/Documents/Convention_ENG.pdf

 

International Covenant of Civil and Political rigths of the UN (in English):

https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/ccpr.aspx

 

Articles 15, 18, and 25 of the Spanish Criminal Procedure Code which establishes the procedure by which a competent court to take up an investigation is determined (in Spanish):

https://www.boe.es/buscar/act.php?id=BOE-A-1882-6036

 

Definition of the concept of effective legal guardianship and its development in the Spanish constitution (in Spanish):

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tutela_judicial_efectiva

 

Interlocutory decree of 2-10-2018 by which the precautionary measures against Tamara Carrasco are maintained “because the CDR continue to be active” (news piece in Catalan & decree in Spanish):

https://www.diarijornada.coop/actualitat/20181008/jutge-mante-prohibicio-tamara-carrasco-sortir-viladecans-perque-cdr-continuen-actius

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