On October 21, the European Court of Human Rights rejected an appeal filed by the Spanish government against a June 2012 judgment which invalidated the retroactive application of the “Parot doctrine” (named after the first terrorist to be sentenced under those terms, Henri Parot).

El País explains that the doctrine, which was approved by the Supreme Court of Spain in 2006, stipulated that in cases involving the perpetrators of multiple crimes with multiple victims, remission would be calculated on each of the sentences for the individual crimes, and not on the maximum sentence, which is limited to 30 years in prison.

The Strasbourg court issued its judgment in response to a case filed by ETA member Inés del Río Prada, who had been sentenced for several crimes to a total of 3,000 years in prison, and ordered her immediate release. However, another 55 members ETA also stand to benefit from the precedent set by the judgment.

Victims’ associations are demanding that the Spanish government refuse to apply the judgment. “It is true that public opinion is very sensitive with regard to this affair,” notes El País

… but if the state refuses to apply a decision by the European Court of Human Rights, it will stir the world's fanatics, who have insisted for decades that Spain is not a real democracy.