Huelva Gate : The alleged sexual harassment complaint dismissed again

Blocked a few weeks ago by the decision of a Huelva court on a complaint related to their working conditions, Moroccan seasonal workers in Spain were again faced with another failed attempt to bring their alleged sexual assaulters to court.

Moroccan seasonal workers in Spain. / Ph. DR
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Last Friday, a court in La Palma del Condado, a municipality located in the province of Huelva, has dismissed again the request filed by Belén Luján, the lawyer of Moroccan seasonal workers, to look into the alleged sexual harassment complaint lodged by these women.

The court’s decision reinforces the feeling of abandonment they referred to when talking to Yabiladi, last month, after their complaint on working conditions was dismissed as well.

According to Andalucia Informacion, the judge decided to provisionally dismiss, for the second time, the complaint related to alleged sexual harassment. In his decision, the judge believes that «perpetration linked to the alleged crime has not been justified».

This decision is also justified by the absence of these seasonal workers, who were expected to attend a video conference, Friday, with the judge. The ruling indicates that «none of them came to the court». Hence, the judge criticized the fact that these Moroccan women did not attend the hearing, scheduled for last Friday, referring to their «lack of collaboration».

Protecting anonymity

Contacted this Monday by Yabiladi, the lawyer of Moroccan seasonal workers Belén Luján said that the «four seasonal workers who had to attend the video conference before the judge were admitted to the hospital and therefore could not do it». «The judge has decided to remand» the case, she added, stressing that she is planning to appeal against this decision.

Moreover, La Mar de Onuba recalled Friday that the lawyer asked the judge to make sure the identities of her clients are protected during the video conference. Belén Luján spoke of «the seriousness of the facts they wish to testify about and the pressure they might receive from their families and friends back home».

However, this request was refused, Thursday, by the judge. The latter based his decision on the fact that «as indicated in the complaint filed on 1 June 2018 with the Civil Guard of Almonte, the facts denounced do not reach the degree of sexual assault».

For the record, the two complaints filed by these workers, one for alleged sexual assaults and the other regarding their working conditions, have been all dismissed by the La Palma del Condado court. However, these two decisions were dismissed by the Huelva Court of Appeal in June 2018 and by a judge from Spain's National Audience.

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