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Madrid High Court rejects partial containment imposed by Spanish authorities on the capital



           


The Community of Madrid is recognised in its rights by the justice system (photo: B.Luis)
The Community of Madrid is recognised in its rights by the justice system (photo: B.Luis)
SPAIN. The High Court of Justice of Madrid (TSJM) stated on Thursday 8 October 2020 that the partial confinement imposed by the Spanish authorities on Madrid and nine other neighbouring municipalities "undermines the fundamental rights and freedoms" of the inhabitants concerned.

Since Friday 2 October 2020 at 20:00 GMT, the Spanish government has ordered the partial closure of the Spanish capital and the cities of Fuenlabrada, Parla, Alcobendas, Torrejón de Ardoz, Getafe, Alcorcón, Leganés, Móstoles and Alcalá de Henares due to the progress of the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the contrary wish of the Region of Madrid, which, like the other regional communities, enjoys a high degree of autonomy in health matters. According to this government decree, 4.5 million inhabitants are no longer allowed to leave their city, except to go to work or to the doctor and take their children to school.

The court also refers in its grounds to "interference by the public authorities in the fundamental rights of citizens without legal authorisation (...) The fundamental rights which the Constitution attributes to citizens cannot be affected by state interference not authorised by its representatives by means of a law". Offenders cannot therefore be fined by the police. Enrique Ruiz, Regional Health Officer of Madrid, had already pointed out that this decree was "not legally valid".

As the bank holiday (Hispanicity Day to commemorate the discovery of America in 1492) is being prepared on Monday 12 October 2020, the regional authorities have nevertheless asked residents, on Thursday 8 October 2020, and despite the court ruling, to remain confined. "We once again ask all Madrid residents not to leave Madrid and to follow all health recommendations, especially in the coming days with the long weekend," said Isabel Diaz Ayuso, President of the Parliament of Madrid.

According to the CSSE of the Johns Hopkins University, Spain has recorded 835,901 confirmed cases of coronavirus (the sixth most affected country in the world and the first in Europe and the Mediterranean) and 32,562 deaths due to the pandemic.


Frédéric Dubessy


Thursday, October 8th 2020



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