Use of criminal justice against protesters and social leaders, among IACHR conclusions

The IACHR received complaints of human rights violations.

Members of the IACHR visited Ecuador to investigate possible human rights violations during the October protests. They interviewed 439 people and recorded 380 testimonies, most of them provided by citizens who claimed to be victims of human rights violations.

“The IACHR considers that the harassment episodes suffered by the delegation during its visit to Latacunga prison are serious. Security agents prohibited the delegation from taking pictures and videos and prevented them from doing their work there,” they explained in a statement issued on October 5.

They remember that the invitation to a state observation visit necessarily includes access to places where people are imprisoned. The Committee takes note of the apologies extended by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, as well as its written indication that “it will be subject to an in-depth analysis so that this does not happen again.”

In addition, they mention that “without prejudice to the observations that it will issue with its conclusions and recommendations, it should be noted that the Committee received with concern complaints of human rights violations committed during the social protest related to the lack of consultation and participation in the adoption of measures that affect people’s social rights, irregularities in the presentation of complaints and protective actions of constitutional guarantees; lack of information to relatives regarding detained and deceased people; obstacle to the provision of medical services in public hospitals; hostility and alleged acts of aggression against human rights defenders, journalists and workers of several media outlets, community and digital media; as well as the use of the penal system against protesters, social leaders and opposition people.”

The IACHR announced that the observations of this visit will be presented soon. At the same time, it urged the State and the society representatives to continue the dialogue processes established in the country, taking into account international human rights standards and, in particular, regarding economic, social and cultural rights.

Source: Pichincha Universal.

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