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(New York, March 11, 2004)—Today’s train bombings in Madrid were an assault on the fundamental principle of respect for civilian life, and those responsible for this atrocity must be apprehended and brought to justice, Human Rights Watch said today.

Once again, the logic of terrorism—that the ends justify the means—has led to the deaths and injury of hundreds of innocent people. This logic is contrary to the most elementary values of humanity. There can be no justification for acts that assault the right to life and the rule of law.

Spanish authorities have stated that those responsible for the bombings will be caught and will pay for their crime. In that effort, the government must uphold those very principles that came under attack today. In apprehending and prosecuting the perpetrators, the Spanish government must itself respect the rule of law and observe its human rights obligations. It should reinforce the message that it is dedicated to these very principles that will ultimately prevail over the logic of terror.

Human Rights Watch extends its condolences to the victims of the bombings, their loved ones and the people of Spain.

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