Judge Overturns Lockdown Restrictions in Spanish City

A court in Valencia has overturned a ruling by the Ministry of Health that put the Spanish city of Benigànim in lockdown.

THE head of the contentious-administrative Court number 3 of València, Laura Alabau, agreed with the application put forward that the decree of the State of Alarm was not sufficiently justified. Alabau is the same judge who refused to celebrate weddings between homosexuals in Dénia.

The magistrate’s decision is in line with the Prosecutor’s Office, which also reported unfavourably on the measures adopted by the Health Ministry. The department headed by Ana Barceló issued a resolution yesterday afternoon, not yet published in the DOGV, to “attend to the details required by the contentious administrative court number 3 of Valencia” and that the confinement of Benigànim is still active.

The judge pointed out that the measures handed out to the population of Benigànim “are depriving or restrictive of fundamental rights” such as “freedom of movement, freedom of worship and freedom of business.” image: Twitter

Deprivation of human rights

She even adds that the measures adopted by Health “are even more burdensome for the population of Benigànim than those included in the royal decree declaring the State of Alarm.” And it addresses two specific issues: “Agree to close places of worship” [in reference to churches] and “qualify the dispensation of Christian sacraments as social events, prohibiting them.” A prohibition that “does not include other places not provided for in the resolution, public or private.”

Explanation of the annulment by the Judge

The Judge, Laura Alabau, recounts that Royal Decree 514/20 said that the State of Alarm “was based not only on the number of infections but on the number of hospital admissions, ICU admissions and deaths” compared to the figures provided by Health that “only” refer to the number of infections registered in Benigànim during the pandemic.

Quote: “If only the transmissibility of the disease is considered, and not the severity of the cases detected in relation to the result of hospital admission, or death, any seasonal flu would have to determine similar measures, a circumstance of all points unacceptable.”

On Monday, the Valencia government’s health department ordered confinement for the town of Benigànim and its 5,800 inhabitants. image: Twitter

The judge concluded that they are “measures already adopted in Beniganim” so that the decision to confine the population “does not exceed the judgement of necessity, since the same results can be achieved through isolation.”

This is an interesting development that might have repercussions in other regions in Spain. The Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca, both heavily dependent on tourism, have experienced a massive drop in income over the last five months, would a similar application by the Andalucian government to the regional government allow the easing of the recent restrictions put in place?

Author badge placeholder
Written by

Tony Winterburn

Share your story with us by emailing newsdesk@euroweeklynews.com, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page www.facebook.com/EuroWeeklyNews