Spanish lesbian fights for Franco abuse damages

A 54-year-old woman in Spain is seeking compensation after she was jailed for being gay during General Franco's regime

Spanish lesbian fights for Franco abuse damages
25 October 2012

A 54-year-old woman is seeking compensation from the Spanish government for suffering anti-gay persecution at the hands of General Franco’s regime.

The lesbian, who is idenitified in court only by the initials MCD, was arrested when she was 17 for being gay.

After a sham trial, she was sentenced to four months to three years in prison for ‘re-education’.

‘A group of plain-clothes police came up to me in the street and that was that. I have spent my life since then trying to forget what happened, and to overcome the ordeal,’ she said, reported The Telegraph.

‘I was held for months and interrogated. I didn’t know what was going on.’

A law criminalizing homosexuality was introduced in 1954 and orginal court records from the time of MCD’s trial describes her as having ‘impure relations’ with another woman who she ‘dominates, pursues and attracts’.

‘She is a rebel and disobeys her family and threatens them when they try to correct her and bring her up properly. She is a danger to her family and to society,’ the report reads.

MCD is the first woman to seek damages under a 2009 law in Spain which gives victims of abuse during the dictator’s rule the chance to seek compensation.

The first man was Antoni Ruiz, who was awarded €4,000 ($5,200) in compensation.

The president of the Association of Ex-Social Prisoners told Spain’s El Pais newspaper: ‘We hope that this case will encourage other lesbians who were locked up at that time in prison or mental asylums to take action to get their dignity back.’

General Franco was in office from 1936 to 1975, during which time around 4,000 people were convicted for being gay or lesbian.

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