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Barcelona attack: full investigation needed and hate speech responses must be avoided

‘We must always respond to attacks like these with resoluteness, confidence and respect for human rights’ - Esteban Beltrán

As further information comes to light over the attack in the Spanish city of Barcelona, Esteban Beltrán, Director of Amnesty International Spain, said:

“No one can justify such actions. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, to whom we send our full support and solidarity.

“The Spanish authorities must carry out an independent, thorough and immediate investigation in line with international standards to bring to justice all those suspected of criminal responsibility for the attacks. The victims also have a right to truth, justice and full reparation.

“In such difficult times it is important to avoid any kind of hate speech and to remember that we must always respond to attacks like these with resoluteness, confidence and respect for human rights.”

Amnesty International Spain took part in the tribute that took place yesterday in Barcelona and its headquarters held a minute’s silence with the message “No hate. No fear”.

Thirteen people died and more than 100 were injured on Thursday when a van deliberately ploughed into crowds of people in Las Ramblas in Barcelona, one of the city’s main tourist areas.

According to official sources, several hours later, in the early hours of Friday, another attack took place in the coastal town of Cambrils, 75 miles away from Barcelona, with one person killed. According to reports, the Catalan Regional Police thwarted the second attack when five people were shot while attempting to carry it out. According to official sources, the five people, who are confirmed dead, were wearing fake explosive devices.

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