This is a list of notable events in the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT rights that took place in Spain. Homosexuality was highly illegal under the dictatorship of Francisco Franco , with laws against homosexual activity vigorously enforced and homosexual people being imprisoned in large numbers. The reform of the "Ley de vagos y maleantes" "Vagrancy Act"  declared homosexuality illegal, equating it with procuring. The text of the law declares that the measures in it "are not proper punishments, but mere security measures, set with a doubly preventive end, with the purpose of collective guarantee and the aspiration of correcting those subjects fallen to the lowest levels of morality. This law is not intended to punish, but to correct and reform".
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For a number of years, Amnesty International has been concerned about the use of the Ley sobre Vagos y Maleantes , Law of Vagrants and Crooks, to detain large numbers of the poorer sectors of the population and, in some cases, journalists, peasant activists and critics of the government. The present Law of Vagrants and Crooks, which dates from , permits the administrative detention for up to five years, without judicial appeal or review, of people deemed by the police to be a threat to society, but against whom there is no evidence of punishable crimes that may stand in a court of law  In practice it means that someone can be detained simply on suspicion of being a "vagrant" or a "crook".
It can also be applied to individuals merely on the basis of their past penal records: someone who has been convicted of a common crime and served his sentence, can be in fact punished again under the Law of Vagrants and Crooks, if detained in a police raid and found to have a police record.
If applied repeatedly on the basis of the same police record, there is nothing in law that can stop a virtual life sentence on the individual. The law classifies as Vagos or vagrants, those out of work, or allegedly working in illicit professions "constituting a threat to society"  ; those profiting from prostitution or from illegal activities attempting against the public moral or customs; loiterers and others promoting idleness; and those begging for money under religious pretexts, employing minors and the mentally-ill for begging or pretending to be physically disabled or sick in order to beg.
Maleantes or crooks, are those classed as "scoundrels" rufianes and "pimps" proxenetas ; gamblers; illegal dealers in drugs, weapons or alcoholic drinks or those supplying alcoholic beverages to minors; witches brujos and wizards hechiceros ; those sentenced two or more times for crimes against private property and those accused two or more times for these crimes who are found to hold false or deformed keys to force open doors and windows; those who trade on pornographic material; paedophiles, smugglers, drunks, cattle rustlers and prowlers; and those generally known as being dangerous, seen in the company of known criminals, or having a police record .
The Law's definition of "vagrants" and "crooks" is so vague that it raises serious questions as to whether its provisions are compatible with the principle of equality before the law, as set out for example in Art. The definitions are also open to arbitrary and discriminatory interpretations and practice. In actual terms, the Law of Vagrants and Crooks is applied on the basis of mere suspicion, frequently when individuals have been previously arrested or interviewed by police without being charged.
Amnesty International believes this law continues to be used to suppress political and popular dissent, in breach of Art. While the Venezuelan Government has repeatedly acknowledged that the Law of Vagrants and Crooks infringes the Venezuelan Constitution and the country's obligation to uphold ratified international human rights instruments, the Law of Vagrants and Crooks continues to be applied by most Venezuelan state authorities.
Hundreds of people are detained each year during police sweeps redadas , particularly in the poorer areas of large cities such as Caracas and Maracay. The majority of these people are subsequently released after a few hours, but many are held under the Law of Vagrants and Crooks and kept for many days in cells in police stations and in prisons.
Many of those detained under this law are subjected to torture and ill-treatment or sent to prisons whose conditions amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment . Following the detention of a person under the Law of Vagrants and Crooks by the police, the detainee is sent before the prefecto  where he or she is interrogated and informed of the charges brought against him in the great majority of the cases the law is applied to men. The detainee is accused and sentenced by the same authority and the defendant has no access to an independent or impartial tribunal.
After this, the authority has 48 hours to determine whether he or she is guilty or not before issuing a sentence. If the accused is found "guilty" under the Law of Vagrants and Crooks, he has 24 hours to appeal the sentence before the state governor, a period admittedly insufficient to prepare an appeal. As previously stated, the application of this law affects primarily the poor who usually cannot afford independent legal counsel.
The case goes before the state governor for consultation, whether on appeal or not. The attorney's report is then received by the governor, who must confirm, modify or revoke the sentence within another three days. If the sentence is longer than six months, it must go before the Justice Minister, who then has 15 days to change or confirm it.
The Minister's decision is final. In February , the delegates found the prison's facilities to be grossly inadequate. While not overcrowded, the sewage system was blocked; adequate medical care was lacking; the water was undrinkable; the food was obviously insufficient; and the prison buildings were derelict.
Inmates told Amnesty International that corporal punishment was routinely applied against them. For example, they reported that in the early hours of 25 December , more than 20 guards had brutally beaten the prisoners with their rifle butts and peinillas sabres in retaliation for the attempted escape of a prisoner the day before.
Some of the prisoners had been shot at close range with plastic pellets. One of the delegates, a forensic doctor, confirmed that several inmates presented injuries consistent with these allegations.
The prison authorities had previously denied that inmates were subjected to any form of torture or ill-treatment. While reports indicated that the use of torture against people detained under the Law of Vagrants and Crooks had diminished, some inmates complained about continuing ill-treatment. While there had been no massive transfers of prisoners to CAR El Dorado under the Law of Vagrants and Crooks in the months preceding the visit, there were complaints about the continuing use of ill-treatment and torture against the inmates.
They were also able to confirm that at least two men whom Amnesty International regards as prisoners of conscience POCs  were detained under this law see below. Although the Law of Vagrants and Crooks, is widely used in many states to hold people belonging primarily to the poorest sectors of society, it has also been used to detain political activists. He was detained for his peaceful activities on behalf of peasants involved in a land dispute and was subsequently sentenced to a year's administrative detention under the Law of Vagrants and Crooks.
Following an international campaign to secure his release, Gabriel Rivas Granadillo's sentence was revoked by the state governor of Carabobo on 29 September The law has also been sporadically used to arbitrarily imprison homosexuals accused of prostitution by the police. He was taken to a police station where he remained for five days and was then sentenced to a year's imprisonment under the Law of Vagrants and Crooks.
His sentence was later increased to 30 months' imprisonment by the Ministry of Justice. On 8 December he was transferred to the Centro Penitenciario de Guayana , Guayana Prison, also known as the Casa Amarilla yellow house , a prison adjacent to CAR El Dorado  He was reportedly beaten while in the Casa Amarilla and subjected to repeated harassment by prison wardens and members of the National Guard apparently as a consequence of his sexual orientation.
In Catia he was reportedly ill-treated by the prison guards. He was allegedly harassed by other prisoners and had to be transferred to another annex because of this. The organization urges their immediate release as prisoners of conscience and calls for full and immediate investigations into reports of their torture and ill-treatment at the hands of prison guards and members of the National Guard.
In May , Pedro Nieves was arbitrarily detained during a police raid in his home town of Maracay. He had never been previously detained or charged with any common offenses and had no police record. He was nonetheless detained under the Law of Vagrants and Crooks, and taken to the Comandancia General del Estado Aragua , the General Commander's Office in Aragua, where he remained in detention for 15 days.
He was reportedly beaten and kicked by the police. He was then transferred to CAR El Dorado where he was also reportedly punched and beaten with sticks and peinillas sabres.
He was brutally beaten by prison guards shortly after arriving there. Pedro Nieves was released after six months, in October , for good behaviour. Based on his police record, he was sentenced to 30 months' imprisonment. He told Amnesty International delegates visiting CAR El Dorado in May , that he had been beaten by members of the National Guard and a prison guard in April , for protesting against the ill-treatment of other inmates held at CAR El Dorado : he had been forced to lean against a wall and had been beaten with peinillas.
Ricardo Donis was stabbed by inmates at the Casa Amarilla that same day and died of his knife wounds. The prison guard responsible for Ricardo Donis' arbitrary and illegal transfer has not been brought to justice. The same prison guard has been reported to have frequently beaten prisoners.
Amnesty International remains concerned that the duty of prison guards to guarantee the safety of all prisoners under their responsibility continues to be neglected, leading in many instances to grave human rights violations. The guards reportedly started beating him near other prisoners, but he managed to break away and ran towards the director's office, crying for help. A guard shot him repeatedly on the back. Amnesty International sent a letter to the Attorney General on 11 November , strongly condemning the killing and demanding an impartial investigation into the incident.
To Amnesty International's knowledge, no investigation has been opened into this killing nor anyone has been brought to justice. Moreover, the organization has not received a reply from the Venezuelan authorities regarding this case. Amnesty International has discussed its serious concerns about the Law of Vagrants and Crooks with a wide range of national authorities, legal experts and institutions working among the poor in Venezuela.
Some authorities and other individuals maintain that it is difficult to relinquish the use of the law of Vagrants and Crooks as a method of crime prevention. Amnesty International believes, however, that practices that compromise fundamental civil rights and contravene the international human rights obligations of Venezuela cannot be accepted as legitimate law enforcement or crime prevention measures. It is the duty of the Venezuelan Government, however difficult, to endeavour to fulfil those responsibilities within the framework of normal police, judicial and penal procedures and without undermining the fundamental rights of any sector of the population.
According to their views, those detained under this law have not committed any punishable crimes. An early version of these proposals was discussed in the meeting that the Amnesty International delegation held with Dr. Escovar Salom in May In another example, Article 2 b specifies the contravening behaviours as those "acts which threaten the morals or the respectable customs [of society]" " The ambiguous nature of this wording could led to further imprisonments of people because of their sexual orientation, including homosexuals.
This would amount to an actual sentence of four years. Moreover, there are no safeguards in the LPSC that would prevent the courts from applying the same sentence ad infinitum to an individual who, in their view, had not been "rehabilitated" during previous periods of reclusion. Amnesty International considers that the inclusion of articles 14 and 15 in the new LPSC preserves, in fact, one of the most disturbing features of the present Law of Vagrants and Crooks.
Moreover, the organization remains concerned about several aspects of the LPSC which have been transferred virtually unchanged from the Law of Vagrants and Crooks. The procedure applicable to the detainees shows little improvement from that used in the Law of Vagrants and Crooks. Following that, the judge has 48 hours to determine whether the defendant is guilty and to issue a sentence.
Although the LPSC specifies the right of the defendant to legal counsel, it imposes time constraints similar to those found in the Law of Vagrants and Crooks. Amnesty International is concerned that, unless the conditions in these prisons and centres are substantially improved, all complaints of torture and ill-treatment are investigated and those responsible are brought to justice, detainees under the LPSC will continue to suffer torture and ill-treatment at the hands of the security forces.
The organization remains concerned about the potential application of the LPSC based on discrimination because of social status or origin and the detention of POCs. Amnesty International welcomes the proposal to have local courts apply the law, but is concerned about the vagueness of descriptions contained in articles 2 a , 2 b , 2 d and 2 j , which could lead to further imprisonment of individuals due to their political or conscientiously held beliefs or for reasons based on their social origins or status.
In summary, Amnesty International remains concerned that the proposed LPSC contains a number of provisos, carried over from the Ley sobre Vagos y Maleantes , which continue to be in breach of the same international standards as the Law of Vagrants and Crooks and which could lead to similar violations of human rights as those described in this document. The Commission should include members of both governmental and non-governmental organizations, such as human rights groups, popular sectors, academics, lawyers and the Church.
The Commission's findings should be made public and taken into consideration by the respective authorities before adopting the LPSC. Ratified by Venezuela in 10 May Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.
Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of the arrest, of he reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him. Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release.
It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgement.
Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that that court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention and order his release if the detention is not lawful.
Anyone who has been victim of unlawful arrest or detention shall have an enforceable right to compensation. All persons shall be equal before the courts and tribunals. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, or of his rights and obligations in a suit at law, everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independant and impartial tribunal established by law.
The press and public may be excluded from all or part of a trial for reasons of morals, public order ordre public or national security in a democratic society, or when the interest of the private lives of the Parties so requires, or to the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice; but any judgement rendered in a criminal case or in a suit at law shall be made public except where the interest of juvenile persons otherwise requires or the proceedings concern matrimonial disputes of the guardianship of children.
Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law. In the determination of any criminal charge against him, everyone shall be entitled to the following minimum guarantees, in full equality:. In the case of juvenile persons, the procedure shall be such as will take account of their age and the desirability of promoting their rehabilitation.
Everyone convicted of a crime shall have the right to his conviction and sentence being reviewed by a higher tribunal according to law.
The Law of Vagrants and Crooks: Suppressing Dissent and Punishing the Poor
Lei de vagos e maleantes
LGBT history in Spain
Las lesbianas: tan invisibles, que se libraron de la ley de peligrosidad social