According to human rights activists Amnesty International, Spain needs to drastically alter the basis on which it holds suspected terrorists and other criminals. In particular the organisation is critical about how suspects are not allowed to contact the outside world for as long as five days.

Amnesty claims that Spain has some of the harshest criminal justice standards in the whole of Europe which they claim breach the standards of international human rights and allow for the possibility of torture.

The government responds by saying that their judicial system is no more oppressive than in other European countries and is strictly watched over by sitting judges. It claims that sometimes heavy restrictions need to be in place in order to counteract terrorist activity.

Amnesty International claims that this is not the case and that the restrictions placed on detainees are oppressive amongst other things they are not allowed private meetings with their legal counsel. They are often refused the right to inform their family or anyone else that they are being detained.

Also in direct contravention of standard international law they sometimes refuse to allow foreigners to contact their own embassy. Amnesty go on to say that no other EU member operates a system of such severity and in such harsh contravention of the rights of those being held.

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